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Mindful Walking Meditation

shutterstock_218967790Mindful WalkiMeditation.

This is an old meditative technique. It is relaxing and helps to bridge the gap from your meditative sessions so that you can bring your seated meditative techniques out into the world of your normal waking states.  It can be done outside, inside, or wherever you have a safe place to engage a meditation. With this meditation, you are going to strengthen your connection to the earth and strengthen the connection you have to the simple movement of walking. Most of us do not normally pay attention to the mechanics of taking one step. We usually just move from one place to the next without thinking about the steps that we took to get there. Walking is as automatic as thinking itself. This activity is a gentle and effective way of bringing the disparate parts of the body/mind into more unity or equanimity. Ever since we “got “the act of walking most of us have forgotten that to walk you actually have to throw yourself off balance to take a step and catch yourself with your other foot. Here are the instructions.

1. Divide your step into 5 distinct parts

A. Your heel lifts up off the ground

B. Your foot travels forwards

C. Your heal reaches for the ground ahead of you.

D. Your heal touches the ground and your foot flattens before you shift your weight

E. You shift your weight  on the foot. Then begin again on the other foot.

2. Begin stepping, Notes: Walk only as quickly as you can distinctly feel  the 5 parts and the ground beneath you. It could be a very slow walk. It could be a normal walk.

3. Your meditation is paying attention to the 5 parts of the step. If and when you get distracted say “thinking” to yourself , and with a smile in your heart bring yourself back to the activity of  watching your steps.

This can be done anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. Variations exist across many traditions that stretch back for thousands of years.  You guessed it as soon as we noticed our thoughts getting in the way of living we as a species invented techniques to help us pay attention.

 

So go take a walk. Pay attention to your steps. When you get distracted, (yes every time!) Bring yourself back to the activity with a smile and an abundance of kindness.

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