The 411 on Walking Meditations

Let’s recap from last week’s Walking Meditation blog. Walking is good for you…mind and body; this we know. However, if you slow your brisk pace to a tip-toe and add some mindfulness, you’re closing in on an official Walking Meditation.

How To:

Find a spot that speaks to you…a sidewalk, a park, a woodsy path…you get the picture. Bring someone with you if it’s an unfamiliar area (just tell ’em to be quiet).

Scope out the surroundings before you get started. If there are cars, don’t go. If there are bikers or scooters whizzing by, don’t go. If there are speed walkers or runners flying by, move to the right. Try to make yourself as little a nuisance/hazard as possible. Running is the norm; staring down at your feet walking slow as dirt is not.

Once you feel unencumbered and ready, start your slow-as-dirt pace and tune out everything else…people coughing, talking, lawnmowers, etc. Instead, tune in to the nature sounds around you…the birds, the bugs, the brook. (If you’re in the city, find a quiet side street…faint city sounds can be soothing too.) Look several inches to a few feet ahead of you…you’re both tuning out the visual surroundings and preventing a fall. Having a partner is nice so they can be your “eyes” while you stare at the ground.

If thoughts flood your mind, refocus on how each foot hits the ground, the ambient sounds and your, hopefully, slowed breathing. Notice the air around you…dry, humid, cool, warm, a light drizzle.

Walk until you feel like stopping or set your watch or phone alarm to time your walk. Remember to put your phone on silent while you walk, so you aren’t interrupted by buzzes and beeps.

I’ve added several short walking meditations to my YouTube page. Go there for inspiration.

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