Walking meditation

One of the most simple ways to attend to our bodies and cultivate mindfulness and a wakeful presence is through the practice of walking meditation.

Walking meditation is a simple practice anyone can do for developing calm, connectedness, and embodied awareness.

The art of walking mindfully is to learn to be aware as you walk, to use the natural movement of walking to expand your awareness to the present moment.

As you begin, walk at a natural pace. Place your hands wherever comfortable: on your belly, behind your back, or at your sides.

If you find it useful, count your steps up to 10, and then start back at one again. If you’re in a small space, as you reach ten, pause, and with intention, choose a moment to turn around.

With each step, pay attention to the lifting and falling of your foot. If you're walking barefoot, feel the sensation of each foot as it touches the earth. Notice movement in your legs and the rest of your body.

Notice any shifting of your body from side to side. Whatever else captures your attention, come back to the sensation of walking.

Your mind will wander, so without frustration, guide it back again as many times as you need. When walking outdoors, maintain a larger sense of the environment around you, taking it all in, staying open and aware.

Walking meditation is a simple practice anyone can do for developing calm, connectedness, and embodied awareness.

Now for a few minutes, expand your attention to S O U N D S. Whether you’re indoors, in the woods, or in a city, pay attention to sounds without labelling or naming, or getting caught up in whether you find them pleasant or unpleasant. Notice sounds as nothing more or less than sound.

Shift your awareness to your sense of S M E L L. Again, simply notice. Don’t push or force yourself to feel anything at all, just bring attention to the sense of smell, whatever you discover.

Now, move to V I S I O N: colours and objects and whatever else you see. Patiently coming back each time something grabs your attention, or even if something needs addressing, like avoiding an obstacle. Staying natural, not overly rigid, not daydreaming and drifting, but with sustained awareness.

Keep this open awareness of everything around you, wherever you are. Nothing to do, nothing to fix, nothing to change. Fully aware, and walking.

In the last moments, come back to awareness of the P H Y S I C A L sensations of walking, wherever else your mind found itself throughout the practice. Notice your feet again touching the ground. Notice again the movements in your body with each step.

When you’re ready to end your walking meditation, stand still for a moment again. Pausing, choose a moment to end the practice. As you finish, consider how you might bring this kind of awareness into the rest of your day.

Happy mindful walking xx

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