I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend, and had a chance to enjoy the outdoors yesterday. Today, we’ll introduce a practice to cultivate mindfulness while walking.
As Thich Nhat Hanh puts it, “in our daily lives, we usually feel pressured to move ahead. We have to hurry. We seldom ask ourselves where it is that we must hurry to. When you practice walking meditation, you go for a stroll...walking meditation is not a means to an end; it is an end. Each step is life; each step is peace and joy.”
Choose a place where you can freely walk - you can do this indoors, going back and forth, or outside.
As you walk, find a pace that gives you a sense of ease. Let your attention settle into your body.
Once you feel connected to your body, put your attention into your feet and lower legs. Feel the sensations of each step: the movement of the leg as it swings, the contact of the foot on the ground. When you notice your mind wandering, bring it back to the sensation of your feet walking.
If it helps you stay present, you can count your steps or say something like “stepping, stepping” or “left, right”.
Half-smile as you do this, and envision bringing peace to your every step.
Thank you for your practice. This one can be especially useful because you can walk with mindfulness anytime. You can choose any moment to incorporate into your daily routine - walking from your work to your car, walking down the hallway, etc. Enjoy these moments as small miracles of life!
With love and light,
*Thanks to Insight Meditation Center for this practice.