Yesterday, we talked about walking as a form of medicine. We outlined the reasons for walking, how to get walking and build up our endurance to do so.
Now here’s the really fun part!…
There’s more to walking than the physical benefit. If we’re wise, we embrace the mental, emotional and spiritual benefits if we approach walking with a more expanded view and intention.
Here are at least 17 ways to expand on your practice of walking:
- Meditate while walking.
- Walk with presence; consciously feel your feet on the ground and how every step affects your whole body as you walk.
- Walk with your pet.
- Walk barefoot: “When you walk barefoot you can focus on exactly what’s going on beneath your feet.” – Sandler, Michael, and Jessica Lee. Barefoot Walking: Free Your Feet to Minimize Impact, Maximize Efficiency, and Discover the Pleasure of Getting in Touch with the Earth. New York: Three Rivers, 2013. Print.
- Walk in silence and witness your environment.
- Hike; make walking not just a physical challenge but a delight for the senses as you take in the natural setting.
- Or just stroll through a beautiful nature setting like your local park.
- Pray while walking.
- Make powerful declarative affirmations while walking to manifest all that you desire.
- Ask for inner guidance while walking and then listen.
- Commune with nature all around you; don’t just take it for granted; establish a relationship with the flora and fauna; they are all part of your life and are communicating with you whether you realize it or not.
- Tune in to the sounds of nature and become one with them.
- Gaze at the moon and the stars; let Grandmother Moon fill you with her radiance.
- Gaze at the beauty of the sunlight or cloud-filled sky; let the sun’s warmth and golden glow fill you with light.
- Walk in the rain. Embrace the water that gives life to you and the planet.
- Breathe; be mindful of your breath.
- If a breeze is blowing, intend it to clear your auric field.
“The purpose of walking meditation is really to enjoy the walking–walking not in order to arrive, just for walking. The purpose is to be in the present moment and enjoy each step you make… Our hurried steps print anxiety and sorrow on the Earth. If we can take one step in peace, we can take two, three, four, and then five steps for the peace and happiness of humankind…
If we can transform our walking path into a field for meditation, our feet will take every step in full awareness… Every step we take will reinforce our peace and joy and cause a stream of calm energy to flow through us. Then we can say, ‘With each step, a gentle wind blows.’"
–Hạnh, Nhat. Present Moment, Wonderful Moment: Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living. Berkeley, CA: Parallax, 1990. Print.
“Many meditators have become enlightened while doing walking meditation because of the mental alertness and sharpness it arouses. Besides the physical benefits of walking, it is beneficial for the mind—improving memory skills, learning ability, concentration, and abstract reasoning, as well as reducing stress and uplifting one's spirits."
—Ñāṇadhammo, Ajahn, Ajahn Brahm, and Dharma Dorje. Walking Meditation: Three Expositions on Walking Meditation. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, 2007. Print.
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment, and feeling truly alive.” –Thich Nhat Hanh