New Program: A Mindful Walk at the Museum

The Port Moody Station Museum is busy creating four new programs! Today we are introducing, A Mindful Walk at the Museum  intended for Middle and High school aged students.

 

A MINDFUL WALK AT THE MUSEUM is a 90 minute earth conscious experience for middle and high school youth, designed to inspire awareness and intention around earth stewardship.

Outdoors, students practice silence and the heightened awareness of their senses. They are introduced to natural elements in the landscape: the earth, trees, sky, in relation to themselves. This awareness fosters a connection to nature with feelings of being part of nature.

The grounds of the museum from east to west, support a vast replica of a WW1 Trench and a Meditation Garden that are side by side. The symbolic contrast between a garden that invites peace and contemplation and an example of trench warfare that left deep scars on the earth raise these questions: How do we support the earth today through our attitudes, choices, decisions, actions? … And how can we walk more lightly on the earth to preserve it, protect it?

Inside the museum, in a seated circle, students participate in guided mindfulness practices: 1) grounding, feel the firm ground under your feet, 2) aligning your spine vertically between the earth and the sky, and 3) conscious, mindful breathing. These practices support a calm, relaxed, physical and mental state.

Slides of Canadian artists’ paintings of forest trees, present contrasting representations. These speak to humans’ ambiguous relationship with nature, one of domination over it and one of appreciation for it. How do we reconcile these opposing attitudes towards nature?

Outdoors, the students embark upon a long, slow, silent walk through the underground trench and up the ladder, one by one, to the garden. The students are asked what feeling they would like to imprint upon the earth with each step as they walk, one of: peace, gratitude, respect, non-violence, protection, awareness, action…

Students then move inside the Venosta, the railway car on the grounds where they can sit down and reflect upon their experience. They can express their feelings and their visions with simple art materials that are provided. A collective display is assembled and presented by the group to their peers, sealing their experience in an aesthetic and meaningful way.

 

A big thank you to Linda Moncur for working hard in creating this program. She will be leading this program with the help of Museum Staff.

Linda Moncur ( MA)  is a Community Artist, Yoga and Meditation teacher with a Fine Arts and Education Background.


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