Walking is a good way of to calm the mind and gain a new perspective. When we walk, we’re surrounded by changing scenery, which is good for our souls. Our minds focus on the actions necessary to take each step, which helps us release anxiety and worry. The body’s movement creates a deeper space for our minds to relax into so we can connect with our heart-space—that place within us where the Creator quietly whispers wisdom and inspiration.
When you walk, there are three natural movements contained in each step.
Letting go. As you lift your foot to take the next step, you have to let go of the ground you were just walking on to move forward toward new ground.
Standing on firm ground. As you plant the ball of your foot on new soil, your body anchors your foot on the solid ground beneath you.
Moving forward. As you lift your foot and take the next step, you move forward.
These three simple elements of walking are the basis to establishing a walking meditation. Here’s how.
Find a place to walk. Choose a location where you can walk for at least 10-20 minutes. It could be in the woods or a park, around your neighborhood, at the mall early in the morning before it opens, or at the gym. Try to pick a spot that’s quiet, where you won’t be distracted.
Start your walk. Quiet your mind. Walk at a pace that feels comfortable for you. To quiet your mind, notice how your body’s movement creates this gentle rhythm:
When you lift your leg and push your foot forward, you let go of what’s behind you.
As you ground your foot on the soil beneath you, you step into the present moment.
With each next step you take, you move into the future.
Focus your attention on your heart space. As you continue your walk, shift your focus to your heart-space and ponder these three questions:
What do I need to release? What am I worried about, obsessing about? What is it that I need to let go, whose release would bring me inner peace?
What firm ground do I stand on? What do I know and believe in as truth? Who or what’s the firm ground, the rich soil I’m planted on at this point in my life, that centers me, balances me, and lets me know I’m safe and on the right path?
How do I want to move forward? What do I want to integrate more of into my life? What am I being invited by the Creator to discover within me as I move forward into deeper wholeness, peace, and compassion for myself and others?
If your mind drifts, refocus. When you notice your mind drifting, gently bring your attention back to the rhythm of your body and the above three questions.
At the end of your walk, consider your experience. Notice what you experienced, what you learned about yourself, or what you enjoyed. If helpful, jot down those things in a notebook or journal to return to as insights.
6.Move into your day. As you move into the active part of your day, notice when your day becomes hectic. Recall what you experienced during your walk and slow down. Let the wisdom you’ve gained through your meditation practice integrate itself and seep into your Being.
Walking meditation is a simple way to reconnect your mind, body, and spirit. It allows those three parts of our Beings to work together as One. It’s exercise for the soul. And it leads us into deeper paths of inner wholeness, peace, and wisdom.
-brian j plachta
Click on the link below for a guided meditation you can use for your own walking practice: