How to do a walking meditation

“When you look at the sun during your walking meditation, the mindfulness of the body helps you to see that the sun is in you; without the sun there is no life at all and suddenly you get in touch with the sun in a different way.” 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Do you have trouble trying to meditate? There is a powerful meditation practice you could try that involves movement. It’s one of my favourites – walking meditation.

Go outdoors. Stand still and have an awareness of your body.  If you like, clasp your hands in front of or behind your body. Lift your right foot, noticing the weight of your leg and how your balance adjusts. Think to yourself ‘right’ as your foot touches the ground.  As your left leg lifts up notice the change in balance.  Feel the movement as your foot leaves the ground and as it reconnects with the earth.  Think ‘left’.  As you become more advanced you may wish to choose other words such as ‘peace’ and ‘love’ or ‘wellness’ and ‘abundance’.

Walk slowly and mindfully for ten minutes, being aware of each deliberate step, and of the world around you. Be aware of the ground beneath your feet. Be aware of the changes in your body’s balance and of how you feel.  To finish the meditation stop, stand still and take a minute or two in that place, gently breathing and being aware of your body in stillness.

Moving meditation will also help you to be calmer and more attentive in seated meditation.  Enjoy!

 

Here’s a great example of a walking meditation:

Inviting Stillness…

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

How can you be well, how can you know peace, if you are always busy? Always rushing?

If your days are blurring one into the other, if you are exhausted and defeated in spirit, or lost and no longer certain of your path, then stop!

Just for a moment, allow yourself to be still. Just for a moment be aware of your breathing, of the air on your skin, of the time of day, the temperature, the beat of your heart, the position of your body.

A moment or two of stillness refreshes everything.

In a moment of stillness rest comes.  Peace comes.  Answers come.

You can’t find that space and expansiveness when you rush, rush, rush.

You can’t find that comfort when you are so busy that your head is spinning.

Today, find a quiet moment.  Allow yourself to enter into stillness.

Rest there.

And wait.

Stillness is always where the magic happens.

stillness

A Bangkok Kind of Day

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ~ Henry Miller

So here I am, on holidays.  My morning started early, as always, with meditation.  Bangkok is the kind of place that starts late and finishes as I am waking up. So at 6am I was roaming the almost empty streets, which smelled of charcoal braziers, jasmine and rotting vegetation.  Robed monks fed stray dogs in the laneway behind my hotel, and sleepy-eyed locals on their way to work stopped at the many shrines to give offerings and say prayers.

Breakfast might be my favourite meal.  Fresh fruit, salad and grilled vegetables, pickles and rice, a little egg or meat. Steaming hot tea. All served with gentle smiles.

I feel so at home here. Already I can feel myself relaxing, unwinding and reconnecting to the lost bits of me.

Today has been a day of wandering to get my bearings.  Markets, street food, shopping, massages.  And of course, prayers and meditation at a local temple.

Here’s a sample of Bangkok through my eyes…

 

How to do a walking meditation

 

Do you have trouble trying to meditate? There is a powerful meditation practice you could try that involves movement. It’s one of my favourites – walking meditation.

Go outdoors. Stand still and have an awareness of your body.  If you like, clasp your hands in front of or behind your body. Lift your right foot, noticing the weight of your leg and how your balance adjusts. Think to yourself ‘right’ as your foot touches the ground.  As your left leg lifts up notice the change in balance.  Feel the movement as your foot leaves the ground and as it reconnects with the earth.  Think ‘left’.  As you become more advanced you may wish to choose other words such as ‘peace’ and ‘love’ or ‘wellness’ and ‘abundance’.

Walk slowly and mindfully for ten minutes, being aware of each deliberate step, and of the world around you. Be aware of the ground beneath your feet. Be aware of the changes in your body’s balance and of how you feel.  To finish the meditation stop, stand still and take a minute or two in that place, gently breathing and being aware of your body in stillness.

Moving meditation will also help you to be calmer and more attentive in seated meditation.  Enjoy!

Here’s a great example of a walking meditation – the music is a bit trippy but you’ll get the idea…