Foraging as a Mindfulness Practice to Restore Vital Connection

For many, their foraging journey starts by looking for “free food”.

Yet as we continue down this amazing path, we begin to realise that we are actually being fed on many levels.

Not only the physical but mental, emotional and (dare I say it), spiritual.

The very act of gathering wild edible plants takes us on a deep journey into self.

It’s a coming home, a re-membering of ourselves.

For myself, foraging is not just about food, it includes the gathering of medicinal plants, as well as the gathering of plants for utilitarian uses.

In fact the gathering of plants from the wild for any use by humans.

As is self-evident to many, plants are the foundation of human culture.

It is why we exist. It is why we so desperately need to connect back to the earth.

To Gaia.

As our society evermore disconnects, there is a revivalist movement flourishing like a rhizome.

Unless this connection to the vital, to wildness, to creation, to what is in effect the very pulse of life itself.

Unless this connection is restored, the fate of humans is questionable.

And one of the most direct ways is to consume the wildness.

To take it into our bodies, where like a sleeper agent it lies dormant until enough has been consumed to change the structure of our blood.

Thereby changing our brains, and how we relate to the non-human world.

For it is this simple act. The act of placing wild food into our mouths, that in time becomes so transformative.

This is not a harking back to some naive, romantic vision of how we might once have lived.

But a way to sense into the future, and the prospect of finally understanding our ecological function (as a species) within the world.

Practising This Perfect Moment

We think we are awake, think we are conscious. Well, go and meet a plant and you might just realise how blind you actually are.

With patience, eventually that plant will take you down a country lane, down that green wall the plants most probably appear to you when you first start foraging.

Little by little as you engage with a plant, pay attention to it, and love it for who it is, for what it gives you and for what you ultimately give back to it.

As you journey deep into this plant world that green wall slightly thins, becomes ever so translucent almost gossamer-like until you perceive the hedgerow through a green veil.

And one day if you are very lucky, and if the Wild Redeemer chooses to bless you, one day you may part that green veil and enter a wonderland of plants, imagination and mystery.

You will soon find out on this strange plant adventure, that although you may think you are in control of your destiny, you are not… The plants are!

Strange things begin to happen, your life takes on exuberance; an aliveness.

Serendipity walks by your side, and the ancient primordial Flow embraces you, gently carrying you down your life journey, the one you were born into the world to live.

The old thinking and ways of looking at the world no longer serve the human spirit.

It’s time to return to the earth, for without a strong foundation all our dreams and visions will tumble at the first puff of wind.

Get out of your head, come to your senses!

It’s difficult to explain, you have to experience it.

And it is only a crush, a sniff, a nibble or sip away.

11 thoughts on “Foraging as a Mindfulness Practice to Restore Vital Connection”

  1. Dear Robin,
    Thank you for your email about “restoring vital connections “
    I have been collecting a lot of natural plant material in order to create “nature-based expressive arts” workshops as I believe that the healing properties of Mother Nature are ongoing even when one can create designs with various cones, ash seeds etc. Etc. Etc.
    Irmtraut

  2. Robin, thank you for your journey. Plants were the first terrestrial Beings on this planet and They literally created the earth we walk upon and are sustained by, creating eco – regions for all kinds of life to flourish. Thank you for your words, as ever.

  3. Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. I’m glad you liked this article. It is the beginning of a series I will be producing, about diving deep into the plant-human relationship.

  4. Of our understanding so far, all goes back to the beginning

    When we are
    open, honest and true to ourselves
    so is nature with us

  5. So true Robin and exactly what I’ve found in my own foraging practice here in Scotland. My daughter is now trained as a Nature Therapy guide and we’ve incorporated shinrin yoku techniques into some of our walks. You expressed it beautifully.

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