Mother Earth News Blogs > Nature and Environment

Nature and Environment

News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.

Connect to Your Environment with 'Wide-Angle Vision' and 'Foxwalking'

"Wide-Angle Vision is the doorway to Invisibility” - Grandfather

Two weeks ago I arrived at the Tracker School primitive camp while a Standard Class was being held. Students must first take the Standard Class before they are able to take any of the other classes the school offers. It was Thursday and when I walked into the center of camp, Tom Brown Jr. was giving his lectures on Awareness. Coincidentally, the second part of his lecture was all about Wide-Angle Vision (WAV). By the way, Tom claims, as Grandfather also claimed, there is no such thing as a coincidence. After posting my first blog entry, I felt hesitant to submit the next entry already written, as something felt unfinished to me. That feeling had to do with wanting to share more aspects of how WAV is so powerful.

After introducing how to get into Wide Angle Vision, Tom began to talk about how being there, takes you toward a Spiritual state of consciousness. Brain wave studies have shown that an adult who spends from 3 to 5 minutes in WAV, moves from being in predominantly a Beta brain wave state to one of Alpha, the next deepest brain wave state. The right side of the brain is stimulated by WAV. In other words, you move from analytical thinking to more experiential and feeling states of mind.

Tom then talked about other benefits of using WAV. It dramatically enhances your awareness, as you pick up on so much more of the environment. If you had the chance to practice WAV, you noticed that every now and then, you focus in on a particular part of the scenery and then you back into WAV. This is a natural phenomena when using WAV, Grandfather advocated varying your vision, moving back and forth between WAV and Tunnel vision. Notice what things draw your attention, there may be a reason you notice them. You also notice that you pick up on the smallest details and any movement in your view stands out. Another use of WAV is at night, where using WAV actually helps you see better in the dark. Walking in the dark while using WAV allows you to see shapes and shadows more clearly. It also heightens your sensory awareness, so you can sometimes “feel” things like trees and bushes before you bump into them.

Part of what Grandfather means in saying Wide-Angle Vision is the doorway to invisibility, has to do with how animals are sensitive to being looked at directly, in tunnel vision. If you have a pet, wait until they are laying down or otherwise focused, then tunnel you vision at them. Most likely, they will become aware of your attention and look up at you. This is even more true for animals that live in nature. If you come into contact with an animal in the wild and remain in WAV, they will not pick up on your presence if you keep still. Keep them in sight on the edge of your vision and you will be able to slowly walk or stalk toward them. As in most things, experience, or as Tom calls it, “dirt time”, spending time working on a skill, is what brings results.


Slowing Down Even More, and Pause 

An Exercise to Try: A good way to enter Earth Time, is to slow down your walking pace. A fox walking step can take between four and ten seconds. A stalking step can be around ninety seconds per step. A “normal” walking pace is a step each half a second. Try walking about 50 yards into a natural area, then turn around and walk back in super slow time while in Wide Angle Vision. As you walk out, be aware of your walking pace, slow it down some, then some more. As a musician, I like to connect with a song in a 6/8 rhythm in my head, bringing the rhythm into my movement. Take in everything around you as you move, looking near and far, up and down. Allow all your senses to come into play, touch leaves and bark, feel the breeze on your skin, hear the leaves rattle and the bird songs. It is from this state of awareness, where communication with your environment begins to build.

As you find a balance and rhythm moving super slow, Pause now and then. When your attention is caught by something, stop, take a deep breath and slowly let it out. Open yourself to the moment. Grandfather lived his life through the sacred question: What dis mean? What happened here, what is this teaching me or, from the Caretaker’s point of view, How can I heal this? The Sacred Question is another doorway to connecting to the what Grandfather called, the Spirit that Moves in and Through all Things. This “Spirit” is what we share with all around us. It is an unused “muscle” by many, but is there for anyone who embraces that connection.


As you move, pay attention to the smallest details, open your senses totally, enjoy the moment. I took the pictures for this entry as I did a slow walk around my yard. The smell of the Milkweed flower is one of my favorite summertime smells.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.