by Andrew Pacholyk, MS L.Ac ~
Walking meditation is another simple way to bring awareness into your life.
Wander – Take a trip. Walk around the block, through your neighborhood or through a park. Head to the sea, the hills or a mountain trail. There is a concept (and herbal formula) in Chinese culture referred to as the Free and Easy Wanderer. Walking or simply wandering often allows us to clear our head and free our minds. This allows for the free flow of movement, vital energy or Qi and is extremely therapeutic.
First, choose an area where you can walk at least ten feet in one direction. Then begin walking slowly, (hands relaxed at your side, eyes straight ahead), focusing your attention on each position of the foot as you walk; lifting, forward motion as it moves through the air and placing each foot on the ground.
Say the words; lifting, moving, placing, stepping forward repeatedly, keeping your mind focused on the action. When you first attempt this meditation, take at least 8-10 seconds to complete each step. With this simple practice you’ll add mindfulness to an ordinary and often used action…walking.
Another method is to simply move through the space in front of you. Notice the buildings or trees or nature before you, then let it pass as you pass by it. Allow your mind to move on to the next visual image before you. Some form of attention is needed as you wander and notice so that your mind does not drift back to the problem you are wandering away from. Stay in the moment and simply clear your mind.
Have no clear cut direction or intention as to where you are headed. Just simply try and wander forward. If you are in the city and you get a red light, cross the street on the opposite side, moving in the direction of all the green lights! Try not to stop, but move in the direction of the path that is opening up before you. If you are in nature, follow a path, river or tree line that leads you forward. Simply stay focused on what is in front of you.