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Mindful : October 2017
Go Rogue Time If you can devote a long stretch of time, like a whole afternoon, and use the sun’s path through the sky as your timepiece, that’s great. If you have less time, set a timer. Even in airplane mode, a phone’s alarm will go off. Fitness trackers also have vibrating alarms you can use. Destination No set destination. When you reach crossroads and forks in the road, choose your way randomly (a mental coinflip) or follow what you’re drawn toward. In the wild, even if you are on a hiking trail you can still do a kind of wandering. It takes the form of venturing off the path a bit at points or simply stopping to admire and savor. The key is to have time and space that is not all about getting somewhere or getting something done. Interaction How much interaction you have is up to you. If you want it to be a completely quiet con- templative time, you can avoid getting into conversations. If bumping into people and see- ing what they’re all about is par t of your wandering, that’s fine too. What will defeat the spirit of wandering, though, is interacting with people at a distance, i.e., through phone calls or texts. Make your wan- dering a digital-free zone. Precautions If you are wandering in the wild, it’s not a great idea to be all by yourself (remember that guy who fell into a crack in the rocks and had to cut his arm off?). Also, educate yourself about any local dangers, such as disease-bearing ticks and excitable wild animals, and take the precautions recom- mended by authorities. If you’re in a complicated wild area or an unfamiliar city, be sure to have a map to save you if you truly get lost. Of course, you can rely on your GPS at that point, but a physi- cal map is nice (yes, they still exist) because you can see the big picture better. Guidelines for Aimless Wandering 74 mindful October 2017 insight