~ Lady D ~ www.makeachoicenow.com
I highly recommend this form of meditation to everyone…
A walking meditation…
* Teaches you to stay centered and aware in the midst of other activities so that you’re less influenced by chaos around you in other situations.
* Increases your sensory awareness, including the profound delights of the sights and sounds of the great outdoors.
* Gets you out into fresh air and sunlight.
* Helps you develop a deep meditative awareness of motion, something we often take for granted.
* Focuses your attention on rhythm, including your breath and your gait. By walking meditatively, you become aware of how your hips move, how your feet touch the ground, and how your torso and arms sway.
* Integrates exercise and your emotional state. The purpose of a walking meditation is to simply be, not to reach a destination or increase your cardiovascular capacity – although it may have that benefit. Play with the tempo of what feels good. If you feel energized, walk quickly. If you feel quiet and inward, walk slowly.
* Increases your sense of joy in knowing that walking is good for your body and spirit.
10 Steps to Walking Meditation
Before you begin a walking meditation, choose comfortable clothing and supportive shoes. If you’re on a beach, go barefoot so your feet make direct contact with the Earth’s electromagnetic energy. You should also choose a place you find nourishing, whether it’s a park, a forest or your neighborhood block. Allow yourself at least 15 or 20 minutes to walk. However, even 5 or 10 minutes can renew your spirit and energy.
Suggestions for your walking meditation:
(Take no phones with you or turn it off while you are doing this and don’t talk) *
1. Pause for a minute before you start, and feel yourself in the present. Use your senses to scan the world around you. Say hello to the sky; feel the ground beneath you. Notice your breath, then take several slow, deep ones to increase your awareness.
2. As you begin, start with the quality and tempo of walk that’s comfortable. The pace should allow you to stay aware of surroundings and your body.
3. Feel your feet connect with the ground. Isolate the sensation in your heels, toes, ankles. Feel the motion throughout your body, not just the legs. How do your hips move? How do your arms swing? You don’t have to change anything, just notice it.
4. Breathe in through the nose and out through either your nose or mouth. Pay attention to the rhythm and flow of your breath.
5. Take the time to truly appreciate the ability of your body to propel you forward.
6. Play with the tempo as you go, choosing a pace that’s nurturing. Slow down and speed up as you like.
7. Shift your attention from inward to outward, alternating between following the breath and focusing on the world around you. Devise a cycle that suits you, perhaps spending a minute on each, then switching.
8. Open up your senses. Feel the air move across your skin, enjoy the quality of light. See the colors of flowers and trees; notice the shapes of rocks and buildings. What sounds are you hearing? Observe the outer world as you would a painting, with heightened awareness.
9. Give yourself the freedom to pause. It’s okay to stop and touch the bark of a tree or smell an herb or flower.
10. At the end of your walk, pause, experience yourself again within your environment and listen to how you’re feeling. Give yourself a moment to consciously receive the benefits of your meditation and give thanks. Appreciate that you have the gift of breath and walking. You may want to make a ritual gesture such as placing your hands in the prayer position and saying “namaste” to close your walking meditation or a Simple “Thank you.”