Do you practice mindfulness? Mindfulness involves attentiveness and awareness of what is occurring in the present moment, in the body and the environment, and observing without judging the internal or external experience.
Some years ago, after spending time taking photos of this gorgeous waterfall (Sherman Falls, Hamilton, Ontario), I had the chance to sit on a rock and engage in sensory mindfulness practice.
I watched the “white” water flow over the smoky brown-black rocks, marvelling at its gracefulness.
I heard the crunchiness and felt the unevenness of the rocks beneath my shoes and noted the smoothness of the slanted rock against my hands as I shifted my position to accommodate my bony bum. I was aware of how much I enjoyed the contrast of textures I was experiencing with sight and touch.
I noticed how pleasurable it was to feel the cool gentle breeze on my face, looking around and above at the trees, my eyes observing how the sunlight fell on some leaves and taking in the colours of summer.
My mind gravitated to the past, remembering my visit here during the autumn season, recalling how majestic it looked then too. I became aware of how reminiscing prompted excitement for the fall season and had to bring myself back to the present gently.
Joy and awe stirred within. I felt this as an expansion in my chest. All this openness was beginning to make me feel vulnerable, fearful at experiencing joy. Can I make room for fear and joy to co-exist? Yes, I think I can.
Feeling the fullness of gratitude in my heart for being there alive and able to use my senses to witness this spectacular natural gem, I left peaceful, relaxed and a bit sad that I had to go.
The beautiful thing about my practice was that it reminded me not only to capture the scene but also to be fully present to it. Although I did this exercise a few years ago, its memory vividly lives on in my mind, and I can’t wait to visit again.
I want to acknowledge and thank the owners for allowing the public to visit this place as it falls on their private property.
If you are visiting, please enjoy safely, responsibly, and mindfully.