Parallax : Mindfulness




I think that to be mindful when walking, especially in nature - is a good thing to be.

That's to say, quietening the chattering brain - so often the source of anguish - baseless worries about the future, mental to-to's, fretting about a past that can't be changed. And instead being fully engaged in the present - fully experiencing everything the senses have to offer.

It can, however be frustratingly difficult to quell the nagging and needy "think me!" of thoughts.

I've found that a very good thing to focus on is the parallax effect - at least as a gateway to mindfulness. For me it can almost be like a switch - as soon as I key into it - I arrive - in the moment.

Everyone will be familiar with it. You see it on a car or train journey - the way the foreground seems to come towards you then whizz by, the middle distance seems to be stationary while things in the distance - hills, clouds move along with you. It can be like the whole scene is on a huge rotating disc.

You can see it just as easily when you're walking as well. It's a fascinating thing to notice. You and the horizon in lockstep, nearby plants and the ground flying past, then in between multiple layers, moving at different speeds seemingly sliding by one another.

A single step has it - a universe of perspectives in flux.

I took a scene from part of my regular patch walks and animated it - to show what I mean. The effect is so engrossing and so imbued with the moment that I find it beams me down - from inside my head to right where I am - to now.
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