WALKING MEDITATION

Suppose you want to take some time to meditate, and you also want to get some exercise.  But you don’t have time to do both.  You can meditate while walking.  Here’s how.

We’re always experiencing a myriad of sensations.  Three major groups of sensations are auditory, visual, and tactile — SIGHT, SOUND, TOUCH.  Head out for you walk and notice which of these three types of sensations first captures your attention.  Perhaps, you hear an airplane pass overhead (SOUND).  Repeat to yourself at a moderate pace the word ‘sound’ (sound…….sound…….sound…….sound..…..) and really pay attention to the sound of the plane until it fades — or until another sensation replaces it.  Perhaps, you notice the feel of your shirt on your arm (TOUCH).  Repeat the word ‘touch’ (touch……. touch…….touch…….touch…….) and really notice how the cloth feels against your arm, your back, your chest.  Then you hear the singing of a bird  (SOUND).  Repeat the word ‘sound’ (sound…….sound…….sound…….sound..…..) and listen to that bird’s singing like you’ve never heard a bird sing before.   Your eye is drawn ahead to a red car  parked by the curb (SIGHT).  Repeat the word “sight’ (sight…….sight…….sight…….sight……)  Totally immerse your perception in that redness until you pass the car, and it’s out of your field of vision.  You notice the sound of your shoe hitting the pavement (sound……. sound…….sound…….sound……), you notice how your foot hitting the pavement feels (touch…….touch…….touch…….    touch…….) how your foot feels inside your shoe (touch…….touch…….touch……. touch…….) you pass a beautiful rose bush (sight……. sight…….sight…….sight…….).  A dog barks (sound…….sound…….sound…….sound …..).

Immerse yourself as deeply as possible into each sensation.  Hold onto it as long as possible, but also allow each new sensation to enter your perception and take center stage. You will hear, see, and feel things in a way you never have before.  It keeps you in the present moment, plus you reap the calming, relaxing, centering benefits of meditation.

Say the words to yourself, or, if you’re totally alone you can say them aloud.

Your walking meditative state probably won’t be as deep as the meditative state you experience when sitting quietly alone.  However, you will definitely experience the calming, soothing effects of meditation.  Give this a try the next time you go for a walk by yourself.  You can also do it when you park your car some distance from your destination.

Let me know about your experience with walking meditation.

About Peggy D. Snyder. Ph.D.

Psychologist, Author
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