Mindfulness and the art of fishing
Mindfulness and the art of fishing
Ever wondered why we all enjoy fishing so much? Sometimes it even has to do with catching fish!
They say that mindfulness is the art of living in the moment, enjoying, observing or being ‘what is’. Interesting concept for many of us looking to escape the hustle of the real world, jobs, responsibilities, stress and pressure. It can be the one place that for a brief moment in our lives gives way to just being. While there are people that have transcended this across all of their lives, I say we’ll done, but for us mere humans, let’s just concentrate on understanding the appeal and why it is so special.
We have all had those days on the water, special moments, a remarkable sunset, a moment of rod bending exhilaration, that moment of sudden loss as the line goes slack. Happy, sad or enraged, you are in the moment.
“Wherever you go, there you are.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
It can take a while to work that quote out, but it means that you are wherever you go or what you do, meaning that you are in the present. Confused? Well you are not thinking of what happened yesterday, not planning tomorrow, but living the now. Let’s see if we can relate it to something more tangible?
Can you remember a moment. Seeing that drag scream, hearing the creak of a rod as it loads up, seeing that surface strike or watching that big fish make its final run, only to secure freedom. While you remember the past it seems like you are living the moment again huh!
These are the moments we live for. We try to explain to others, yet the explaination falls short of our recollection. That is because we saw, felt and lived the moment, often others whom have lived a similar moment can identify with it, others just look at you like you are a monkey using tools for the first time.
Science is described as the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment’. Loosely translated, it’s what we can systematically study or work out, prove or disprove, a lot like working out a new fishing spot, targeting a new species or working out who stole your crab pots.
Art is described as ‘the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power’. As you can tell from the deffiniton, art is much more intangible, interpretive and based on emotion and appreciation. Which is the reason this article reflects the art mindfulness aspects of the art of fishing as it is emotion that stirs the soul and gets us excited about the moment we are living.
Living in the now is seemingly a long forgotten art, but it’s one way to disconnect from our busy, relentlessly paced and hectic days. Let’s be honest, we just need a break sometimes. If you practice this appreciation of ‘what is’ while out fishing, your time on the water will be much more enjoyable, the donuts seem not quite as big and you will begin to see that the catch of the day is really that beautiful sunrise or that sunset you cannot forget, and that the fish are an absolute bonus.
The best thing about learning this skill is exactly that, it can be learnt, it can be acquired through the practice of being conscious of your surroundings and living the moment you are in. Being at one on the water will not only make your time out more enjoyable, it will give you that short mental break from everyday living, which is exactly why we seek this solitude and time getting back to nature.
Now, no one is saying that you sit out there meditating fish onto your line, you have to think, pursue and stalk your quarry, just don’t miss those few fleeting moments of gold, whereby you take stock of your life, feel the rise and fall of your breath, drink in the surroundings, hear the chorus of nature and feel the loading of the rod within your grasp. That’s what mindfulness and the art of fishing is!
Go forth and enjoy the moment.
Till next time, have fun, fish responsibly and remember take only what you need and post the rest to social media.