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First-ever silent hike at Dallas Arboretum is a musical trip for the mind

First silent hike at Dallas Arboretum is a musical trip for the mind

Mindtravel Silent Hike Arboretum
The experience is described as meditative or "trancelike." Photo courtesy of MindTravel

Somewhere between a leisurely garden stroll and a restorative yoga flow comes the silent hike. For the first time, a company called MindTravel is bringing its “meditation in motion” experience, called SilentHike, to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

From 3-5 pm on Sunday, August 11, Dallasites will press pause in their day, slip on headphones, and take "a musical journey into mindfulness" as they walk through the grounds of the garden, the company says in a release.

SilentHikes are a concept created by composer and concert pianist Murray Hidary. During the session, hikers wearing wireless headphones hear music, guidance, and thoughtful commentary from Hidary.

"All the components — music, words, silence, visual cues — work synergistically to help participants connect with themselves and the world around them," the release says. "The evocative, improvisational piano music engenders a feeling of freedom and expansiveness that amplifies the healing and inspirational power of being in nature."

After a quick introduction and intention-setting, the group will take a guided meditative walk down the trails and paths of the Arboretum. The music piped into their headphones — the core of a MindTravel experience — are original compositions written by Hidary.

"MindTravel is an experience like no other," says Jason Wachob, founder of mindbodygreen, in the release. "Imagine a concert pianist improvising beautiful, peaceful music with imagery in the background that matches the beauty of the music — combined, it is almost meditative or trancelike."

In a recent Los Angeles Times story, the writer said that on a silent hike around a museum, she traveled "through the weed-filled gardens of [her] emotions, re-experiencing feelings that just maybe [she] buried on purpose but that resurfaced to embolden [her] to do more than turn on Netflix that night." She added that she slept 11 hours afterwards.

Hidary, a Brooklyn-born composer, pianist, visual artist, tech pioneer, entrepreneur, and physics lover, created MindTravel in 2014 after finding that music helped him heal after the tragic death of his sister in a motorcycle accident. "Now, he is on a mission to share music’s healing power with others and make it the centerpiece of a multi-sensory meditative journey," the company says.

The Dallas experience is part of a 20-city MindTravel summer tour, beginning in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in New York on July 30. MindTravel heads to Austin for a silent hike and live-to-headphone experience on August 12 and a "silent paddle" on Ladybird Lake on August 13.

Since 2014, more than 100,000 people across the globe have experienced MindTravel at one of their 500-plus events, they say. MindTravel also has a foundation that provides free access to its experiences for underserved and at-risk populations. In 2019, the MindTravel Foundation is supporting individuals suffering from grief and trauma.

The Dallas event is free, but registration is required here. Since the event takes place during the Arboretum's normal business hours, attendees will be expected to pay admission and parking, a spokeswoman for the garden complex says.

Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water, and take appropriate precautions for the afternoon sun and hot weather. MindTravel will provide the headphones.