Walking Meditation for Mindfulness
My entry for the "Mindful Strides" contest.
This meditation can be done during the morning or evening, or whenever the weather is comfortable.
Before you begin, take a slow deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. If you are feeling any uneasiness, this can be done twice. Feel the air in your lungs - how does it make you feel? Is it cool, or warm? Notice how it feels. Try not to focus too much on your breathing during this exercise, let it happen naturally.
Start walking at a pace that works for you - it doesn’t have to be too fast or too slow, just a stride that’s good enough for you. Try not to let whatever emotions you are feeling control how fast you walk. There’s no hurry, just take one step at a time. As you begin this walk clench your fists tightly if you wish, and feel the tension in your forearms, and then relax your hands. Do this one more time.
Count your steps for a few moments. Just focus on what’s ahead of you. It’s very easy to get distracted by what’s going on around us, sometimes we forget to just look ahead and not worry about what is going on around us. Just focus on the walk. Focus on the air and how it feels in your lungs, on your skin. Maybe it’s day, and the sun is warming your skin. Or, maybe it’s in the evening, and there’s a breeze. Whatever the case, let the elements soak in.
As you continue to focus on the path ahead, there may be other thoughts that enter your mind. They could be good thoughts, or bad thoughts. Perhaps there is something that has been bothering you, and that’s okay. With each thought, I want you to imagine it taking shape - maybe it’s a ball, or a cloud - maybe it’s blue, or purple. Whatever the thought is, imagine it floating away into the sky above. Let the energy gently push it away into the trees, or the sky. Picture the thought floating far away from you gently.
Let the thought take shape, and then gently push it away while accepting what it is. It’s just a thought. That’s all it is. It does not serve you right now, it is not what you are focusing on. The more you practice with this, it will get easier. In time you may find that it is easier to push the thoughts away gently.
What does it look like around you? Maybe there’s trees, or buildings, or cracks in the sidewalk. You can start to look at these things around you, but start noticing their details. What color are the leaves, how many windows do the buildings have? Are their cars passing by? Take a note of what these things look like. Gently note what you see instead your head, and move on to the next thing that you see.
If a thought comes to mind - let it take form and then slowly let it float away from you. Don’t let it take away from what you see around you.
What noises can you hear? Listen for a moment to the wind, the birds, maybe there is music nearby - or the sound of a stream. Listen to these sounds around you. If a thought comes to mind, let it take shape and allow it to float away.
Focus ahead of you again. Take another breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Just focus on what is ahead of you, letting the thoughts float away as they come. Acknowledge what you are thinking as what it is, just a thought - let it take shape, then gently push it up and away from you.
Walking is a great way to clear our mind and help us regain focus as to what is ahead of us, instead of thoughts that may block our path. Try to keep this feeling of clarity with you as you continue with your day.
Thank you so much in advance for your consideration! I've done a couple of different mindfulness meditations in the past few months, so this entry was a bit of a no - brainer for me.
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