PORTLAND, Oregon — Dozens of people gathered Wednesday night for a unique hiking experience called a MindTravel SilentHike.
They began at the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial in Washington Park, and hiked to Forest Park.
The group focused on being mindful and reflective while listening to special piano music through wireless headphones.
MindTravel creator, Murray Hidary composed and played the recorded soundtrack.
He hoped it would help participants connect with each other, while creating a personal experience.
“Just to create some space for silence and self-reflection,” said Hidary. “Once you do that… nature and the music provide the right ingredients and of course the community.”
Hidary is a classically trained pianist who worked for years in the tech industry.
He said his MindTravel SilentHikes came from his own experiences hiking with music, to heal from his sister's sudden death.
"Just getting the emotions felt and out of us, and being in togetherness, not being alone and isolated in the experience,” he said.
Hidary is on a tour of 21 MindTravel SilentHikes across the country. Portland was number 18.
“This was a complete surprise,” said participant, Chris Voegele. “What he's doing, getting you to slow down and keep in touch with where you are right now… I think it's really important.”
Hidary has planned upcoming MindTravel SilentHikes for Seattle, Toronto and several in California.