Walking Meditation

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Some would say walking is meditation. Since we walk every day, why aren’t we more grounded and peaceful like the people in the pictures above? Hmmm…Let’s see…Where is the last place you walked to? To the car on your way to work, or the office next door? To the restroom? The refrigerator? Around the neighborhood for your morning exercise? Were you keenly aware of your feet, or the environment around you? That’s OK. Mostly, walking is a way to get from one place to the next.

No Big Deal. Like breathing, we walk every day, most of us anyway. No big deal.

But formal walking meditation is different. You purposely start somewhere, take a few mindful breaths, then proceed to walk with awareness. You notice how your feet feel when they roll from heel to toes across the path or the sidewalk, or the floor. You remember that tweak in your right knee, or the pop in your left hip, and you see what is around you. The trees take on a new significance. The birds become part of the experience. The dust on the furniture has a quiet charm and doesn’t bother you for the moment. And every now and then you feel the flow of energy moving up and down and around as you place yourself, one step at a time, here, now here, now here…..It’s a present moment kind of thing.

According to Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk and meditation teacher…(pictured in the collage above)

Anyone Can Do It

“Walking meditation is meditation while walking. We walk slowly, in a relaxed way, keeping a light smile on our lips. When we practice this way, we feel deeply at ease, and our steps are those of the most secure person on Earth. All our sorrows and anxieties drop away, and peace and joy fill our hearts. Anyone can do it. It takes only a little time, a little mindfulness, and the wish to be happy.”

How simple. How real.

But, wait, you say, I don’t have time for this silliness. Well, yes you do. If you can walk up the stairs, or out to the car, or run marathons through the mall, you have time. Just slow down. Pay attention. Breathe. Enjoy the simple act of walking. Your whole world could change for the better.

 

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