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Mindful ActivityGardening


It’s tough to imagine a richer environment to take in our surroundings than while gardening—an opportunity to step out of the thinking mind and be present in nature. Awaken the senses with an exercise that encourages you to step outside and smell the roses.

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Hi, and welcome to the Headspace gardening exercise. It's hard to imagine a better environment or a richer environment to be present and aware of everything that's going on around us. So the senses are almost inevitably more awake, more alive in this environment. We tend to notice what's going on around us, or we can see. We tend to notice the sounds a little bit more, and usually, we become a lot more aware of our sense of touch and smell, a couple of senses that, often, we're not so aware of in daily life. So gardening is a great opportunity to step out of the thinking mind and really be present in nature. So wherever you are right now, whatever kind of gardening you're about to begin, just take a moment, just take a couple of big, deep breaths. You can do this with the eyes open. You certainly don't need to close the eyes, but you're welcome to if you'd like to. As you breathe in, just aware of the lungs taking in that fresh air around you. As you breathe out, just the sense of the, either your body or your feet being really sort of rooted to the ground, just present in that space. And just one more big, deep breath, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. And you can then just allow the breath to return to its natural rhythm. And as you turn your attention to whatever it is you're about to begin, just beginning to check in with the different senses. So this is a really good way of just stepping out of the thinking mind, feeling more present in the environment, the world around you. So we're going to start with what you can see. So just taking a moment to look around, noticing the things that perhaps you always see but also noticing those things that you very rarely see. Perhaps even the smaller things that you've never really noticed. Almost every day, the garden is different. Different conditions. We're just taking a moment to look around, to take it all in. Don't worry about the thoughts, just allow the thoughts to come and go. The attention just on what you can see. And in just the same way, starting to notice the different sounds as well. For this one, if it's appropriate, if it's safe, you might even like to close your eyes for just a moment, just so you can better focus on the different sounds around you. And in just the same way, noticing the sense of smell. So again, you can do this with your eyes open. If it's safe to do so with your eyes closed, just taking in all of the different smells. You may find that with certain smells, the memories surface. That's fine, and allow the mind to think, to remember, but not getting caught up in that thinking. Just allowing the thoughts to come and go. Noticing...


TypeMindful Activity
Duration3-10 min

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  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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