Mindful Forest Explorations

I have been taking classes out into the forest for exploration and inquiry learning. It has given me the perfect opportunity to teach the children about mindful listening and mindful seeing.

We have been noticing how all the senses are heightened in the forest. As we sit in a circle with our mindful bodies, we deeply breathe in the fresh, autumn air and "listen like owls" to the sounds of the wind and the birds, (and unfortunately the occasional plane flying overhead).

Then I ask the children to find a "sit spot" in the woods where they can be alone for a few minutes, without interruption. There they are asked to use their eagle eyes to observe all the little details around them... an ant dutifully carrying its supper home, some fragrant spongy moss on a rock, the intricate design in the bark of a log, or a cluster of beautifully formed mushrooms.

They come back to the group so excited to share what they've seen, delighted by the small wonders in nature and amazed by the little treasures that they may have otherwise missed. Nature is truly the best setting to experience the meaning of mindfulness. 

 - Charlotte Jackson

 

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