MAR 6, 2023
The Spiritual Side of Skiing
by Rob Billheimer
For many skiers, the act of skiing is more than just a sport or a leisure activity. It can be a spiritual experience that helps them connect with their inner selves and the natural world. In fact, skiing is often compared to meditation because it can help you achieve a state of mindfulness and focus that brings peace and joy to your life. When you ski, you are fully present in the moment. You're not thinking about the past or the future; you're not worrying about what's coming next or dwelling on what's already happened. Instead, you are focused on the here and now, feeling the wind in your face, the firmness of the snow beneath your edges, and the rush of adrenaline that comes with conquering a mountain.
Skiing is an experience that engages all of your senses. You're not just seeing the world around you, but you're feeling it, tasting it, smelling it, and hearing it. You're fully immersed in the present moment, and you're not distracted by the noise and chaos of modern life. In this state of mindfulness, you can find peace and joy in the moment, which can be a life-changing experience for many people.
One of the key aspects of skiing is that it keeps you in the present moment because it is an act of feeling. Unlike many other sports or activities, skiing requires your full attention and focus. You're not just going through the motions or doing something out of habit. Instead, you're fully engaged in the experience, feeling every turn, every bump, and every moment. This feeling of mindfulness that skiing gives us is similar to what we experience during other meditative activities like yoga, tai chi, or even just walking in nature. It feels good because it brings us back to our natural state of consciousness. Our minds are naturally wired to be present in the moment, but the constant distractions and demands of modern life often pull us out of that state, which can be an extremely uncomfortable experience for some.
When you ski, you don't think - you just feel. You and the ground beneath you just simply ARE. You're not analyzing or strategizing; you're simply experiencing the present moment with all of your senses. You're fully immersed in the experience, feeling the snow beneath your feet, the wind in your face, and the physical expression of freedom that comes with skiing.
The difference between mindfulness and thinking is thinking. When we're lost in thought, we're not fully present in the moment. We're caught up in our own minds, replaying the past, worrying about the future, or just spinning in circles. But when we're truly mindful, we're fully present in the moment, experiencing it with our whole being. In this state, we are solid, safe and complete. There is no longer anything to measure up to and no sense of lack that needs to be fulfilled. This is a lot like listening to a song. When you listen to a song, you're not thinking about the past or the future; you're fully present in the moment, savoring the music and the lyrics. You're not analyzing or strategizing; you're just experiencing the present moment with focus and clarity.
All of this being said, skiing brings us back to our natural state of mindfulness and joy. When we're skiing, we're not caught up in our own heads or lost in thought. We're fully present in the moment, experiencing the world around us with all of our senses. We're not worried about the past or the future; we're just here, now, fully alive and awake.
The feeling of being present in the moment is one of the most powerful experiences we can have. It allows us to connect with our inner selves and the natural world, and it can bring us a sense of peace and joy that we often lack in our daily lives. Personally, I haven't found a more efficient path to enlightenment yet, but if I do - I'll let you know!