“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
The very first time I tried Mindful walking was at a retreat.
The session leader, started off by alerting us to the fact that owners of a nearby farm had made complaints about the ‘weird walking’ before, so we had to stick to certain areas.
What was this ‘weird walking’? I wondered…
We were taught to become hyper aware of each step that we took, walking without a destination or intention in mind.
This can produce a very slow and deliberate gait, that when observed from afar could definitely look odd!
However, mindful walking does not have to be this eye catching.
It really means to use the time that you are moving around on our planet, to observe the very act of movement, thereby slowing down your mind enough to observe your own thoughts
It is also about taking the time to observe the environment you are walking in. To observe the ground beneath your feet, the flowers in your path, the sky above your head.
“Walking meditation is a way to practice moving without a goal or intention. Mindful walking simply means walking while being aware of each step and of our breath. It can be practiced anywhere, whether you are alone in nature or with others in a crowded city. You can even practice mindful breathing and walking meditation in between business appointments or in the parking lot of the supermarket.
Walking on this planet is a joy. Mindful walking allows us to be aware of the pleasure of walking. We can keep our steps slow, relaxed, and calm. There is no rush, no place to get to, no hurry. Mindful walking can release our sorrows and our worries and help bring peace into our body and mind.
We can practice walking meditation alone, with another person, or with a group. Placing our footsteps one after the other slowly and in silence, we can create joy with each step. If we take steps without anxiety, in peace and joy, then we will cause a flower to bloom on the earth with every step.”
I spend as much time as I can walking through the green spaces of London mindfully.
I find it clears my head and sets me up well for all the sitting down, I do as a writer.
It also reminds me to get out of my head and into the physical natural world.
To remember that life is not all about concrete structures.
It is also filled with soil and earth.
Will you get out for a mindful walk this weekend?
Much love Txx