Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t have to happen alone in a room, in full lotus, body silent and still.
No, in fact sometimes the most satisfying meditations happen on your feet, outdoors and covering ground. Certainly, by now, we are all aware of the benefits of walking. It has been the foundation to many a weight loss program as it’s inexpensive, outside of a good pair of shoes, it can be done anywhere and anyone can do it. But can we truly achieve a meditative state by doing it?
Many of us already enjoy walking for some meditative benefits already. Communing with nature, enjoying fresh air and clearing one’s head, all wonderful aspects to a low-intensity, heart pumping activity that can be done right outside your door.
Up until about two years ago, I walked as I run, not to the beat of my heart or to the sounds of the surrounding outdoors, but to the ear-splitting tunes filling my head. I will likely always need music to help move and motivate me through a run, but it only took one walk without my earbuds to convert me to the centring, perspective gathering benefits of a brisk walk in peace and quiet rather than a brisk walk, thoughts and mind overwhelmed by the intense beat of drums and base.
My own daily walks have become a concentrated exercise in connecting with the greater surrounding energy. Drifting thoughts are directed and redirected to quiet convening with all that is positive and abundant in my life. When I find my mind fixating on issues and conflicts, it is just a matter of gently changing focus and turning back to thoughts of gratitude and often encouraging light and creativity so as to better tackle the challenges waiting for me at home. This exercise makes my daily walk not only a part of a regular fitness routine, but integral to my being able to handle the issues of work- or the potential of no work!- homeschooling, money and all of the other day to day things that can trip me up.
I consider my walks a meditation, not in the true sense of the word, in fact very different from the traditional meditation that I enjoy shortly after waking, but a meditation nonetheless. A more traditional form of meditation can be implemented while walking however, and is a wonderful exercise in combining the benefits of true meditation with those of getting the body moving. A killing of two birds with one stone, if you will.
Continue reading for wonderful techniques in engaging in more traditional methods of meditation while walking, particularly if you find traditional sitting meditation difficult. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that a walking meditation may be just the ticket for achieving some inner quiet.