“This next invitation is called “What’s in Motion.” Effectively, it’s a slow walk down the trail. Let your own body decide what slow means. As you move, notice everything around you that is moving. If you think something isn’t moving at all, perhaps be curious about whether that’s true. Maybe you just need to slow down even more and get closer? You don’t have to follow me and you don’t have to stay on the trail. And if you find something in motion that makes you want to stop and watch it for a while, you don’t have to keep moving. As we move, I’ll play a little bit of flute. When you hear that flute, let that sound bring you back to what’s in motion in case your mind starts wandering to other things. We’ll do this in silence for about 15 minutes, and then I’ll call you back with a coyote call, which sounds like this [demonstrate]. Any questions?”
“Walk slowly, while silently noticing what is in motion in the environment around us. I will set the pace, so please stay behind me. Give each other a bit of space. We will do this for 10 or 15 minutes—in silence—and will gather at [describe the gathering place].
Remember that this is an invitation, not an assignment or exercise. I suggest that we view things‐in‐motion as a home place to return to, but allow ourselves to be carried away from time to time by scents and sounds or desires to touch or smell things we may pass. Just gently come back home to noticing what is in motion, in a relaxed and pleasant way.”
Lead the walk, setting a slow pace. Forest therapy often proceeds at a glacial pace, which hardly anyone is accustomed to anymore. One of the main jobs of a Forest Therapy Guide is to help people slow down. What’s in Motion accomplishes this. The significance of this should not be underestimated. Simply moving slowly can be an edge for people; paradoxically, when we slow down in this way the monkey mind gets very excited and suggests lots of reasons why we shouldn’t be moving slowly (or even be out in the woods at all). The guide is saying, “go slow,” and the mind is saying “get busy!” and the conflict between these instructions creates stress. What’s in Motion is a great process to work through this and come out on the side of “go slow”.
If walking in a meadow or relatively open forest, invite people to wander in whatever way they wish, just staying behind the leader and avoiding any long delays before meeting with the group at the gathering place.
“This invitation is called ‘what’s in motion.’ I welcome you to follow me on a wander from here, using your awakened senses to simply notice what’s in motion along the way. Some things we have to slow down enough to notice- so I will set the pace but you don't have to walk in my footsteps. Feel free to wander where your senses lead you- this may be off trail a little ways. Or you may wish to stop for a while to investigate something that catches your attention. If you find your ‘mind’ wandering, simply bring your awareness back to what’s in motion. If you find yourself ahead of me, you may be moving a little fast. I suggest we give each other space and respect each other’s silence as we do this. We will meet at the crossroads ahead in 15 minutes and I will coyote call if we are not all there by then.“