Let’s imagine your sit spot is a stump not far from your back door, maybe two minutes’ slow walk away. The way to get there is just walk out the door and over to the sittin’ stump, right? After all, isn’t the idea to get there and start absorbing nature? Well, no. Going to your Sit Spot is more than a mechanical “get there and sit down” habit.
What’s it like at your spot when you’re not there? Animals, birds, insects, plants and other critters are just doing what they do, usually peacefully. This state is called baseline. The less you disturb the baseline on your way to your spot, the faster it returns – 20 to 30 minutes faster – and the more likely you are to experience what it’s like to be accepted as part of the baseline. That’s when magic happens: when nature accepts you as part of itself.
Preparation begins before you open the door. First you slow down. You send your attention through the door, imagining what might be right there. Could there be a bird or small critter on the ground? If so, will you see it or never even know it was there.
Open the door gently. Smell the air. Is the sky cloudy or bright? What’s the wind doing? Are there birds or animals in sight? Are there any spiders or insects waiting for you to notice them?
What has changed since last time you stood in this doorway?
As you move slowly toward where you’re going to sit, pay particular attention to the birds. They may tell you that there’s a cat or deer moving just out of sight. As you pass corners or trees, bends in the path, hills or rocks, your field of view changes. Look at the edges of what is visible and the edges of open areas. Look not at, but into bush or darker areas. Stop for a moment from time to time so you can see motion, and look around you. You may be surprised how many critters are moving slowly into cover and disappearing as you approach.
Approach your stump gently. Eventually, you may find that you feel something like reverence as you arrive. Look slowly around you, then sit down slowly. Expand your awareness using your eyes, ears, nose, and skin.