As some of you know, I was recently in India on assignment at the 2nd Annual, Global Bird Watching Conference (GBWC) 2012. Now, I don’t usually wear my ‘travel journalist’ hat when I blog here, but in this case, I found an area of overlap that makes a lot of sense to share with you …
The ‘M’ Word
One of the presenters during the conference, an Indian woman and News editor from the State of Andhra Pradesh, spoke about watching birds as “A Passion that Equals Meditation”. Now, as an advocate and daily practitioner of meditation, I was eager to hear what she had to say. I’m also a bit of a stickler about the ‘M’ word – about what it is, and what it isn’t. So in addition to being curious, I was also skeptical.
Ms. Surekha Aitabathula spoke about some of the qualities she’s been able to cultivate over the years, thanks to her passion for birds. These are qualities we’d all do well to strengthen, like patience, a stillness of mind and a deep appreciation for nature. Indeed, as she spoke, I could see how, as one sits just ‘binocularizing the birdies’, the mind can really relax and be, as meditation often is, fully in the present moment.
Being in the Now
Of all the character-building bennies of bird watching that Ms. Aitabathula, this is the one I’ve appreciated most of all. So if you’re feeling a little cooped-up with the wintertime blues, your mind racing through time like a bandit. Getting a little pair of binoculars and watching your neighborhood’s feathered friends for a few minutes a day just might do you well! And in the mean time, here’s a few (very short) video clips from my Asian birding excursions. These are from the Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary where several groups of us spent 4 hours on a very small boat, riding through the shallow waters of this vast, peaceful and protected area.
Enjoy and many blessings,