As you go about your day, going from place to place, from work to home to a friends to a bar to the shops around the shops down the road in the door up the stairs; and eventually back home; there are so many steps you don’t even realise you’ve taken, along with everything you’ve missed along the way.
Perhaps you haven’t had time to meditate in the morning, or it’s simply not something that you do each day; but as a result, your mind is racing off in all different directions.
As you go through each day there are numerous different stimuli for your senses, which can bring you to a whole range of conclusions as you continuously absorb all of the information around you.
Walking meditation is all about ensuring that your mind isn’t running away with you, being able to pay close attention to your life at each moment, with each step you take, bringing yourself back, to the here and now.
So, have a quick read through these next steps before you go out for a walk, or you could read as you go…
As you begin to walk, pay close attention to your feet with an open, inquisitive mind. As you raise each foot, focus on how it feels, how the weight shifts from side to side, how your all areas of your foot feels with more weight placed onto it and how they naturally move to support this.
Right now; this is all that matters.
Notice your posture, now straighten your back, open your chest and breathe in the fresh air and continue to focus on all of the intricate movements of your body, and appreciate how these seem to naturally occur.
As we have done with the breath, use the focus on each step as an anchor of your mind; if you notice you’ve been distracted by something you’ve seen, and it’s triggered off a spiral of thoughts; gently bring your attention back to your feet, lowering onto the ground, and lifting back up again, and the rhythm of which they are doing so.
Carry on doing this for around 10 minutes, noticing as your mind wanders off, bringing it back to the steps, each time, taming your mind.
As you get further into your walk, take a look at what is around you, doing this 5 times, with 5 different things in the distance, something you can really focus on for a few minutes. Now ask yourselves these questions, allowing yourself to pause for a minute to consider each answer:
- What is this thing made of? One material, maybe more?
- How was it made? Considering all of the details involved.
- When was this created? How old is it?
- Why was it created? What was the initial thought process behind it?
After you have continued to do this for 5 different objects, or as many as you can do with the time that you have, bring yourself back to your body, and how it feels.
Noticing any aches or pains, or perhaps your body feels quite light and relaxed; whatever you find, don’t try to change it or let yourself become frustrated, just simply notice it and accept yourself just as you are.
Bringing the focus back to your feet you can continue to pay attention to your steps for as long as your journey takes you.
If you are doing this but are also commuting on the train/bus/tram in between walks, or if you are unable to walk but are going about your daily routines, take that time to stop, look around, ask yourself the 4 questions above, paying close attention to whats around you with a genuine sense of interest, brining yourself back to the present moment, training your mind to be more present, and ultimately, free.
Everything within our societies today have been created, creativity is what makes us human, and has enabled our societies to become so advanced. Nature is creativity within itself, questioning how nature is formed can also bring so much inspiration and appreciation to life as well.
Remembering this and looking at what is around us with an open, truly curious mind, will help you be present with each and every step.
– Evie Pardoe