Summer is reaching its end, and you’re probably catching your breath after weekends of dashing to the beach, concerts and festivals. This weekend, conclude the season by taking a trip inward.

Murray Hidary is ending a nationwide tour of SilentHikes with a free meditative experience at Los Liones Trail this Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. Hidary will guide hikers up the trail while they wear wireless headphones playing his MindTravel piano recordings. At the summit, Hidary will perform on a real piano as participants continue meditating silently.

SilentHikes provide an opportunity for people to work through their emotions and forge deep connections with others, Hidary said.

“Something really wonderful happens when you look around and you see hundreds of people having this personal alone experience and sharing that together,” he said. “This beautiful balance of the individual and the collective comes into play.”

Hidary, a former web developer who studied classical music composition at New York University, created MindTravel six years ago when he started playing improvisational compositions to groups of a few dozen people in his New York City apartment.

Since then, he has brought MindTravel’s meditative experiences to thousands of people in concert halls and parks, on hikes and beaches, and at landmarks and museums. One of his most regular venues is

Santa Monica State Beach, where he first brought MindTravel outdoors.
Hidary, a Santa Monica resident, chose to conclude his yearlong, 21-city SilentHikes tour on his favorite hike in Los Angeles.

“Los Liones has such dramatic views of the ocean and a beautifully diverse landscape,” he said. “It provides enough of a challenge for a physical and emotional and spiritual experience all combined.”
Hidary describes his contemporary classical music, which is inspired by minimalist composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich, as the soundtrack to the human story and soul.

“It’s really about expressing through music the journey and the ups and downs of life,” he said. “I also look at the patterns in nature and reflect that in the music.”

In addition to playing his music for participants, Hidary will also perform improvised spoken word and poetry inspired by the landscape through a microphone connected to their wireless headphones.
After he finishes performing on the piano at the summit, he will bring the participants into a circle to share a word, phrase or sentence about what they are feeling and want to create in their lives.
“I do this at the end of each experience, and the usual sentiment people share is one of belonging and deep connection,” he said.

Hidary said participants often share personal stories of how the experience helped them work through life transitions, such as divorce or loss of a loved one. He became a licensed grief counselor to better connect with those participants, he said.

“They find some kind of solace and connection within the music,” he said. “Music is such a wonderful language for processing grief and pain — it’s the language of feelings and emotions, especially profound feelings we don’t have words for.”

Hidary will also host a MindTravel experience at Santa Monica State Beach on Oct. 6 and perform with Santa Monica College’s symphony orchestra at the El Rey Theatre on Nov. 2.

For more details, visit www.mindtravel.com/experiences.
madeleine@smdp.com