Hiking through grief
Carving out a moment to breathe can be helpful in times of grief. Pianist and grief counselor Murray Hidary knows this precious piece of wisdom well. Twelve years ago, after his younger sister Mariel died at the age of 23 in a motorcycle accident that took place in front of his eyes, Mr. Hidary searched for ways to deal with his own grief.
It was music, his lifelong companion that has been with him since the tender age of 5, that helped him through the pain.
“I used music to work through that very difficult time,” said Mr. Hidary, who is now 48.
After losing his sister, the Brooklyn-native turned toward Asia, where he lived and learned about Zen Buddhism and other philosophies.
“They taught me about embracing the lessons of impermanence,” Mr. Hidary said.
The impermanence of life plays an important role in Buddhism. It is only by recognizing life’s ever-changing nature that one can embark on the journey towards enlightenment.
“So much of our life is spent to insulate ourselves from the impermanent nature of life, and that’s a natural thing to do: to insulate ourselves from the potential changes,” said Mr. Hidary.
Sometimes, however, the insulation we have spent time building can be ineffective. Grief, anxiety, and loneliness can puncture the safety buffers provided by bank accounts, property and cars.
Coming together, though, may prove effective.
“One of the most important approaches to dealing with grief is to create the space and expression of whatever pain and feeling is present. And not only expressing it but expressing it in community and togetherness. It doesn’t even have to be verbalized,” Mr. Hidary said.
The hike is called “SilentHike” precisely because things do not have to be verbalized. Mr. Hidary will do a quick introduction before the hike, during which participants will put on wireless headphones that play the playlist Mr. Hidary has created.
This two-hour hike, which will start at 6 p.m. Monday at the Inspiration Point Trailhead on Spyglass Ridge Road, is free of charge. RSVP to ensure that enough headphones are brought for the journey. Search “mindtravel silenthike santa barbara” on eventbrite.com to reserve a spot.
Other locations that have had their own SilentHike include Los Angeles, Toronto and Austin.