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...Now, hiking for 7-9 hours a day with a 45 pound pack, climbing between 3000 and 6000 elevation feet with that load on trails in a place where all sounds are natural, can get your mind into a state that's not necessarily trance, but you're becoming part of the place, your body just doing its thing, and your mind focused on few other things than what rock to place your next step on. The world suddenly gets very simple - walk, eat, drink, sleep, see the world, occasionally take a photo when you see something that looks worth shooting.
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Very nice description of the experience Peter. As I recall what I'd read it was very much like that... the sense of being transported from ordinary life. The same can happen in extended spiritual retreats where the rhythm of sitting, walking, eating and sleepingm all in silence, allows the concerns of ordinary life to slip away. Of course, at a retreat very healthy food is served and one isn't carrying a 45 pound pack for hours. However, the psychic baggage being carried into a retreat can be quite substantial as well...
Wonderful photo that conveys the experience you describe.