Walking is my meditation.
Walking Takes You Inward
My mind and soul are at ease, and thereby open to soak up the beauty inside this world.
Walking is my convening with nature.
Walking detaches me from any worries. It is my nature boost. And my mental rest.
Walking is in each of our DNAs. Humans are meant to walk. Not drive. Not atop animals. Not rollerskate or ride anything else with wheels.
Of course, as our society has evolved and we are one global community, our feet won't get us from Texas to Europe. We need help. But, our feet CAN take us (usually) most places within our community.
My first recollection of walking meditation was when I was in high school. Every time I walked the mile to or from my high school — alone — I was in another world. No worries. At ease. Maybe those recollections are what fueled my preference for traveling alone, anywhere in the world. Wherever I go, I walk. And walk. And walk. When I lived in the giant congested Mexico City, sometimes I would hop on or off a bus and walk an hour or two to my destination. It was a feast for all my senses. Every time.
Many people imagine meditation as sitting on a cushion. Still. For long periods of time. With an empty mind.
I repeatedly share that I practice a wide variety of mindfulness practices. Daily. Including walking meditation. Although this form of meditation feels like it’s part of my DNA, I’ve been “coached” in how to practice walking meditation several times. And, still, I learn more as I continue stepping one foot in front of the other.
“How to Walk” by Thich Nhat Hanh is the fourth in a How-To Mindfulness Essentials Series which I explain more in my next post.
The premise is we all need to learn some of the magic in moving our feet. Just as people too often talk without thinking, people walk without thinking, too. That’s not meditation.
I may or may not have an empty mind when I start my walking meditation. Often, I concentrate on a mantra that I repeat silently, or out loud. Sometimes my eyes zoom in on all that surrounds me. Other times it’s another one of my senses. Regardless, I focus on the simple beauties in life. The invisible air expanding my nose, throat, chest, and belly. The wind or sun on my bare skin. The miraculous way birds fly. The majestic trees that to me are worth a million dollars each. The perfect blue sky and the ever-transforming shapes of the clouds.
I feel blessed to live surrounded by nature. Few cars on my street. No sound pollution, just nature’s music. I feel lulled by the sounds of the roosters, the dogs, and even the occasional cow or coyote. My soundscape that is on auto-replay in the background is the flowing of the water over the rocks that winds behind my house and makes a loop around my neighbors’ land.
At night, stepping between the stone pathway of my self-made labyrinth, there are no lights except for the flickering of the fireflies, or the brilliance from a full moon.
From the cacophony and smog-filled streets of Mexico City to my little piece of peace and calm in Texas, I appreciate elements of Mother Nature surrounding me. Whether I saunter through the forest or dig my toes into the sand, or walk among the crowds down a Metro platform, I am grateful that my body can transport me. I am appreciative that I have the time to walk mindfully rather than just running to get to a bus stop or a meeting.