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African Lessons in Noticing

September 11th, 2009 · 5 Comments

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Among the many lessons in the African bush, the lesson of stillness unfolded again and again. Many times during our game drives, we were invited to get still and notice what was happening around us.  Putting down our cameras and stopping our social chitchat, we sat still and simply did nothing.

Africa’s a place where there’s stillness in every direction, where the sights and sounds of human activity are completely absent, where not even the hum of a distant highway or an occasional overhead airplane breaks the silence.  Only the subtle presence of nature surrounded us.

Before long, our Shangaan tracker would quietly gesture to something which we hadn’t noticed.

Like the beautiful blue heron sitting beside this lake,

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the impala grazing across the field,

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or zebras hiding in the grasses,

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and hippos disguised as boulders,

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and elephants emerging from the forest.

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The more still we got, the more we saw and heard and learned, and the more we connected with the beauty and wonder around us.

And we can do it anywhere.

This is the place we can become the detached, curious observers of ourselves and access our inner wisdom and intuition.

Lao Tzu teaches, “Empty your mind of all thoughts, let your heart be at peace  . . . you can deal with whatever life brings you.”

Africa is a powerful reminder.

Tags: inner wisdom · intuition · noticing · stillness

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Deborah Trenchard // Sep 11, 2009 at 10:09 am

    This is exactly what I am writing about at the moment. what I am encouraging Baby Boomers to do. sit in solitude and listen to your heart not someone else’s opinion. I’m encouraging them to be curious; to spend more time in nature; noticing every tree, the sky, the broken twig. good stuff!

    thanks for sharing Terry, and Happy Birthday!

  • 2 Susan Honnell // Sep 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Beautiful Terry. Thank you for sharing your “lessons of stillness” … quite a gift.

  • 3 Barb Goldberg // Sep 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Your pictures and comments are beautiful. Keep them coming!

  • 4 Linda Macomber // Sep 11, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Your trip brings back so many wonderful memories.

  • 5 Marie Delahaye // Sep 12, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I love the way you wrote this and presented the pictures, Terry. I could feel how out of the stillness emerged all the beauty of nature around you. Thanks!

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