I love walking. It is perhaps one of my favorite activities, because it is simple, refreshing, even cleansing. It is a break between tasks, it is the exploration of a new place, it is the great ability to find freedom in a small way even when I may feel something other than free. The activity of taking a walk is a tremendous opportunity for me to practice mindfulness and meditation. Walking meditation has been around forever, and for good reason. As part of our daily lives in contemporary society, we are moving around a lot. We are shuffling between places and spaces with a rapid speed, with many obligations pulling us in varying directions. While I may opt to do something other than walk, like drive or take a subway, the invitation becomes more appealing when I know that I can take the opportunity to ‘reset’.
Mindful walking connects you to the environment
Mindfulness while walking is the simple task of taking in everything about your surroundings, with devoted attention, without becoming attached to focusing on one particular thing. Simultaneously, staying grounded in your breath, and allowing your thoughts to float by as you move through time and space. I find that keeping my practice dynamic by peppering in things like walking meditation keeps me deeply engaged with my discipline of mindfulness. Meditation may not always be ‘fun’ in the sense of being stimulated as at a party, but it can be an adventure if I allow it to be. The truth is that my inner world is so rich that there is no end to the exploring I can do just watching what rises up when I create the space for it to do so. When I’m writing, walking meditation is an incredible break from my computer or notebook. When I’m running errands, it’s a hugely beneficial way to stay out of stress when I am taking care of the more mundane tasks of life.