In the winter of 2017, I had the opportunity to explore the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon with my wife. Our initial plans where to stay for a few days, travel to the Painted Desert and finally end our trip by standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. The day after we arrived at the Canyon, a low-pressure system joined us and highlighted the Canyon with a blizzard the dropped eight inches of fresh snow. The opportunity to explore the Grand Canyon in such wonderful conditions made us change our plans and spend the entire week there.
As with any trip, I usually take a book that I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the time for. On this trip, I packed Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Art of Power” in which this Zen Master helps the reader to reframe power, ambition, success and happiness. What I gained from my first reading was the concept of being mindful and in the moment – to be aware of each breath and footstep. This turned out to be especially important, as I suffer from acrophobia. With many of the trails now covered with snow and ice, we needed to wear crampons on our hiking boots and to be extra aware of each footstep, especially along the rim where only a few feet separated the trail from the edge. Thanks to the reframing I took from the “Art of Power,” I was able to go beyond my fear of heights and hike both the Rim Trail and a trail down into the Canyon. The latter was something I thought that I would never do. These images reflect my experience of the Grand Canyon while I was under the influence of mindfulness.