Many of us in this busy life that we lead walk less and less, we take a bus, the car, we sit for long periods, but walking is such a great way to exercise and if you turn a short walk into a walking meditation you can double the benefits for your health and well-being.
Each step that you take connects you to Mother Earth, it grounds you, anchors you, even if you are not always able to walk on bare earth.
A walking meditation is such a simple thing to do and can take however long you want. To start…just walk…as you walk be aware of the feeling of each foot as it comes in contact with the ground, be aware of the feeling of the ground- is it soft underfoot or hard, cold or warm, etc. As you walk feel your feet connecting to the ground and the whole of your body being supported and balanced by your feet.
As you walk breathe easily, enjoying nothing more than the sensation of walking. Notice how you breathe, is your breathing slowing down, aligning with your steps?
Walking is a relatively slow activity, so enjoy the time and use it to slow down, not rushing from one place to another, maybe not even having a destination at all, just walking for the sake of walking.
If your mind wanders and you find yourself thinking of other things, don’t worry, just bring yourself back to the present and carry on with the practise.
As you walk bring your thoughts into the moment, be present, be mindful, paying attention to your physical body and also your physical body in relation to everything around you, feel the air around you, the temperature, the sun etc. Look around at your surroundings, sometimes we can see the same thing everyday and yet not see it at all because our minds are focused on other things and not what is right in front of us.
For anyone who finds sitting down and getting into a quiet meditative state difficult, a Walking Meditation can become quite addictive because it allows you to meditate and still experience what is happening around you, your surroundings become a part of the meditation. You can walk for five minutes or five hours, it doesn’t matter as long as you are focused on the present moment and are in full awareness.
You may also be interested in Mindfulness blog post.