Monday, 29 October 2012

mindfulness, one hairpin curve at a time

One of the characteristics of New Zealanders that I admire is their genuine appreciation of the natural beauty, and the general lifestyle, surrounding them.  Repeatedly, I have heard Kiwis proclaim how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful and safe environment.

Do awe-inspiriing scenes of nature render a population more mindful?  And appreciative?

Stopping and appreciating the view, or combing the sea for dolphin or orca, or looking out from your boat or kayak for outcroppings of rocks and sand bars, negotiating rocky terrain, driving in the rain, coping with unpredictable weather changes, minding the winding, hairpin curves and no-shoulder mountainous roads . . .  do these type of day to day exercises that require total concentration have a global effect on a societies ability to center on the moment at hand?

Yes, it is easier to "be in the moment" when there is so much natural beauty surrounding you in any given moment.  The real challenge is to be mindfully centered when a we find ourselves in a situation that creates an ideal setting for the mind to roam.

Beauty lies in wait to be found.  Even in the midst of what, at first glance, our mind tells us is ugly or undesirable.  It is our job, in that moment, to find beauty.

And when, try as hard as we might, we cannot find the awe?

Stay with the breath and acknowledge every detail of what presents itself . . . and try acceptance.

Or work towards meaningful change of that which you cannot accept.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

on the road and back again

Time moves on and we have entered New Zealand's spring-- the season of rebirth.

Flowers are blooming.  Grass is thickening.  Leaves are returning on once barren trees.  A distinctive warmth begins to seep into the breezes.  Smiling, in response, warms the heart.

Currently we have had our oldest daughter and her partner here and, once again, went exploring in the the Far North.  Every time we go I find more natural beauty and culture that leaves me awed.

Whananaki South

Whananaki South
our own Ngunguru beach climbing apparatus
blooms were out on our trip to Waitangi

our local alpalca hill with windblown tree
a little neighbourhood ride
three specs on right are the kids riding bikes on 90 mile beach
our beached friend at Ahipara succumbed to his abandonment and exhaustion
he had us at sweet eye contact
we were sad had had to cross over
backyard monkeys with our bananas that have since gone to muffins
Buddy on our local beach walk

a Whanagarei Art Museum MUST SEE exhibit.  Mind. Blowing.

Soon I will report in with some Far North finds.  Most of the time, I am so in awe of 90 mile beach that Ahipara always has my vote, but this time, there was something very special about the Hokianga that tugged at my heart. As we exhale and regroup from our trip to Ahipara, Kaitaia, Cape Reinga, Rawene and Omapare, we prepare to send out family off to their new life in Australia.  

Life moves on.