Are you open to a new angle on the practice of walking meditation?
This particular practice is best suited to those with an established meditation practice. It deepens our ability to notice, to witness and to sustain our intention.
As such, our experience is elevated and in daily life we come back to what is essential. We wake up from the field of habit, mood and whatever doesn’t serve us (e.g. distraction, rumination, obsession) to the present, our intention and wise action that allows us and those around us to thrive.
When you are ready to go deeper, you are invited to try the following:
1. Set a timer for your practice (see below). Pause when you reach the start of your path for walking meditation. Bring your mind into your body and begin to walk, slowing down a little. As our attention is drawn into sensing the body, we immediately come out of the field of habit.
2. As you walk, allow yourself to be led by your intention, rather than your mood(s). Take your moods for a walk. If you notice yourself being preoccupied with or led by your moods, bring yourself back to your intention and what you wish to cultivate. This is different from just watching the breath and/or the body. Do you wish to cultivate healing, for example, or grounding, or your capacity for stilling? Or wholesome qualities of the heart, spaciousness or love?
3. If you would like to go deeper, you can actively explore the dance between integration and dis-unification. This highlights how each affects the mind and therefore our ease. Notice: how happy is your mind when you are led by your mood or lost in thought/distraction versus led by your intention? How does each feel in terms of your ease or lack of ease? At the end of your practice, take a moment to pause before continuing with your day.
Please note that at no time are we forcing ourselves to concentrate or stay with the breath or body. This practice is about being at ease, and over time, our agitations or moods begin to calm. It is a discipline, meaning a way of simply following what we love.
This practice can be explored for anything from 20 to 40 minutes each time. It serves as a potent reminder system for what is important and how we live our everyday lives.
The pause moment at the beginning – and at any time as we go about our day – allows us to return to our anchor point from which we act. Our anchor is a somatic element such as the feeling of our feet on the ground or the palms of our hands. It rekindles our capacity to connect with the present and our intention. We become receptive and able to navigate change with skill and grace, rather than falling into habit and automatic pilot.
In this way, we honour and embody our values, from moment to moment, while attending to the details of our lives.