The Art of Mindful Birdwatching – Claire Thompson


The Art of Mindful Birdwatching by Claire Thompson

If ever you want to get into mindfulness and skip the part where you have to sit on a cushion with your eyes closed and breath or follow some guru with crazy yoga movements, this is it. Pure, simple, cut the chase and down to the real stuff of mindfulness. Not alone, but in unison with nature. 

Most Memorable Quote: “Birdwatching in mountain landscapes reminds us that the natural world accepts and doesn’t judge. Surrounded by pure, untouched wilderness, our mind’s controlling narratives fade, having neither power nor place. Our mind quietens into an effortless acceptance and insight into the nature of reality.” That is mindful birdwatching in it’s essence.

In relation to leadership, this is mindfulness put into practice. As in tribes, leaders know their people. They know them not through talking, interviewing, compentence questionnaires etc, but from observing, noticing, being genuinely curious, being with (from a distance) and so on. Leaders know and feel their people. They sense what is needed, read into the space between their people and lean into what is needed.

Birds being so ubiquitous are an easy way in to nature. They are everywhere, whether you are in a city, on a mountain, in a residential neighbourhood or on a boat in the middle of the ocean. They are always there as a reminder of our own connection with nature. When practicing mindful birdwatching (and you don’t have to know their names, genus or whatever), birds become a point of recentering throughout the day.

Next time you drive on a highway, notice the birds on top of the streetlights observing us. They are mindfully human-watching too.

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