Teaching Materials - Exercise

Walking Mindfulness (Outdoor photography series)

Name of Artist Educator: Enoch Cheung
Level:
Excercise Category: Class Prelude, Photographer's eye

Photography often requires us to be aware of our everyday environment. But have we ever truly experienced our surroundings from the inside out?


Concept / Inspiration:

Photography often requires us to be aware of our everyday environment. But have we ever truly experienced our surroundings from the inside out? Slow down, relax and take ten minutes of your day to have a quiet walk – that could do some changes to your mind. Mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD mentioned that people seldom slowed down to observe their mind and their usual thoughts, reactions, fear or desire without emotionally involved. Inspired by his teachings, this walking exercise is developed to adjust students’ state of mind and sharpen their perception.。


Goals:

Leading students to do a walking exercise, to experience their mind and body as well as the nature-filled environment of Mount Davis, so that they could be more observant of themselves and their surroundings.


Location:

Quiet outdoor areas


Workshop Description:

  1. Ask students to walk a short path quietly, slowly and freely. The instructor may ask them to pay attention to the sounds of nature along the way.
  2. They can walk to the destination any way they like and have their own pace. It doesn’t matter how long it takes.

(In this case, the walk took around ten minutes.)

1 2


Actual Outcome:

The unsettled weather during the camp affected the mood of students and also the original plan of the instructor. The workshops had to be adjusted accordingly such as having a slow walk up the hill instead of a normal hike due to safety concerns.

At the beginning of the mindfulness exercise, everybody enjoyed the tranquil moment of walking in silence, but later the atmosphere stiffened because the accompanying school teachers demanded the students to queue up. Freedom is crucial to students’ artistic development, so it is important for school teachers to let go of their usual disciplinary expectations and let their students enjoy nature in a relaxed setting. Next time the instructor should ensure better communication with school teachers in advance regarding the concept and execution of the exercise.


Reference Materials:

Reference site on mindfulness meditation exercises (in Chinese):
http://www.mindfulness.tw/p/5.html