Hello happy campers!
Our summer has been off to a wonderful start. Thanks in no small part to our Meditation Summer Camp. We have really enjoyed getting outside with our clients, breathing, meditating, moving and connecting. When the weather isn't cooperating, we take our camp lessons indoors. For a taste check out our latest guided meditations to evoke being in nature.
Walking meditation has been a big part of our Summer Camp lessons. Some of our clients choose not only to meditate out in nature, but to do so while walking. Why would someone want to do this, you ask? Good question! Read on to discover the benefits of WALKING MEDITATION.
1. Walking meditation allows us to become aware of our surroundings. Part of the goal and the joy of meditation is to become an observer of both the world around us and the world within us. Oftentimes when we walk we are either commuting, walking with the purpose of going somewhere, or we are otherwise occupied talking to a friend, listening to music or a podcast, or simply daydreaming or going over the endless to-do-lists in our minds. Walking meditation allows you to focus on the reality of the world around you. What are you hearing? How do your feet feel as they touch the ground? What are your limbs doing as you walk? How do you feel in your body? When we pay attention to these details, our habits become illuminated. You might notice that you put more pressure in your left or your right foot. You might notice that your arms are stiff. Once we know these things about ourselves, we can then correct any bad habits by finding better posture as we walk.
Paying attention to our surroundings can also be lovely, especially if it's a nice day. You might pick up on the sounds of birds chirping, or the scent of flowers nearby. We often blow past these sweet details when we're rushing to get somewhere or distracted by talking to someone. Take it all in! Walking meditation can help.
2. Walking keeps the body active so your mind doesn't have to be. I'm too _______ to meditate. Fidgety. Anxious. Stressed. Bored. Fill in the blank! We hear this time and time again from people who would like to meditate, but who think they can't. For those of us who find it difficult to sit still with eyes closed, walking meditation is a refreshing way to delve into the vast world of meditation without focusing on the limitations of the body. You don't have to worry about your foot falling asleep in a seated pose. You don't have to stress about sitting with your eyes closed if that makes you feel anxious or claustrophobic.
3. It is good for you. Walking is good. You feel alive, energized, happy. In addition to calming the mind during a walking meditation, your body will be moving. I find this helps clear the mind if I've been sitting too much during the day. On days where you are especially fidgety or sedentary, a walking meditation can revitalize your mood and your body. Walking meditation is best done at a slow or moderate pace, so we're not going for any gold medals here. But the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other in a mindful way, gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing throughout your body. It allows the joints to move and the the muscles to engage.
These are the three main benefits our clients have picked up on. Give a walking meditation a try and see what comes up for you. As you walk, be aware of your surroundings. Keep your eyes and ears open. Listen to the sounds around you. Notice how you feel from your feet all the way up to your head. As you take a step, what is each toe doing? What is your jaw doing? What is going on in your mind. There are so many small things to pick up on, both internally and externally, so each time you go for a walking meditation it will be a little different.
Good luck and let us know how it goes! Contact us to bring a walking meditation session to your office. Summer is not over yet! Let's get walking!