Tag Archives: walk

Forest Yurt Retreat Day Three: Walk the Labyrinth


walk the labyrinth photo ©2013 kimcrayton

After a long sleep with some very intensely vivid dreams, I woke up and wrote my dreams down, ate a light breakfast, and headed out for one last walk  before catching the ferry home.

I set out to walk a labyrinth.  The first time I walked a labyrinth was about 11 years ago at a retreat center while participating in a workshop on Touch Drawing through an expressive arts course during my undergrad studies.  Ever since then, any time I have the opportunity to walk a labyrinth, I always do. This one was especially lovely because it is right off a forest path, and you can tell that it is infused and created with loving intention.

After the labyrinth walk, I returned back to the Grand Forest for one more quick hike up and down the trail. This time I took a different route and ran into a beautiful collection of cairns arranged atop a mossy boulder. What a treat!

I’m glad I went back to the trails before leaving the island and heading back home.


mossy rock cairns @2013 kimcrayton


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Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, meditation, Nature, Spirituality

How to Wander (with intention!)

I love to wander.   

The entry path. Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island

I’ve always been pretty good at meandering about with no set path.  Exploration during a good wander is exhilarating, and it can be done anywhere at anytime.

Here I will address the “neighborhood wander,” or “local park wander.”  Which I will call small scale wandering.  Small scale wandering can be done everyday.  It is wandering that is relatively low risk, and can be incorporated into your routine of daily life.

If you like to walk, you will love to wander.

To wander is to love, linger, appreciate, dream, move, explore, wonder.  A wander is more of a meander than a “ramble” or a “roam.”

A good wander is juicy and satisfying.

It clears the mind by awakening the senses.  By going off track, somehow, wandering can lead you back to what matters most in life.  It also sparks healthy curiosity about the world around you.

So let’s get to the basics of wandering:

1. Find a place to wander. Around the block?  Down the street?  City park?  Amongst the trees on a park trail?  In a large flower garden?  Pick a place you feel most comfortable exploring.

2. Set aside time to wander.  This is a good way to set an intention.  To set a time aside to wander means it is something you value.  It enhances your life.  It may be a few hours.  It could be a few days.   Setting a time allows the space for your experience, and you will know the beginning and end.  Most people, with schedules and families etc.  feel comfortable with a set time to wander.  Set a time, anytime, to lose track of 🙂

3.  The pace of wandering?  Slow.  Like pouring molasses.  Like a snake digesting.  Like a teenager sleeping until 2pm with no regrets.

4. Music is optional. Sometimes there are great songs that can enhance rich wandering.  But usually the sounds of your surroundings are enough.  Depending on where you wander, it is much more enjoyable (and safer!) to have all senses in full awareness.

5. Linger as if your life depended on it.  Lingering is my favorite part of wandering.  Wandering and lingering are best friends.   To linger is to connect and appreciate.  To linger is to love and gush all of your attention onto something simply because you choose too bathe in it’s complete awesomeness.  I linger upon rhododendrons (and most other flowers) and groups of tiny mushrooms (my friend calls them”mushroom cities”)

mushroom city at the arboretum

5. Make sure to look up at lush (or sparse) treetops.  Or at the clouds. Or at a soaring eagle.

6. Make sure to look down onto your path. Be careful to not trip on a root or rock, or squash a banana slug or disrupt an ant parade.

7. Put your “dog nose” on.  Stop and sniff the air with short strong whiffs.  What do you smell?  Bark?  Tree essence?  Flowers?  Mulch?  Low tide?

8. Touch things.  Feel the texture of tree bark.    Brush you hand against leaves.  Hold a handful of soil. ( Read this to find out why soil makes us happier and smarter)

9. Go alone or (even better!) with a companion.  A silent wander alone has many benefits. But to wander with a companion is great because you can share experiences with each other during and after a wander.  Wandering with a companion also supports healthy relationship building, and it’s always nice to have a witness to back you up if you see something truly amazing! (FYI: children are outstanding wander companions)

Grab your friends and plan a luscious wander together!



Filed under How to, meditation, post