I walk and listen to podcasts. Walking has become my thing – again. I used to walk a lot. Over the past few years, I stopped for various reasons; a broken ankle for one, and now have returned to walking at least three times a week. My preference would be to dig my toes into the sand and let the ocean wash over my feet while I walked, but we can walk anywhere, right? It’s great exercise and declutters the mind.
In one of the podcasts, the speaker talked about walking meditation. Interesting concept, I thought. Walking meditation is exactly what it sounds like – walking while meditating.
Compared to other folks, I don’t live a stressful life. Life is what it is, and I have learned we can’t internalize every little stressful event or moment. Life ebbs and flows. Of course, there are moments, days, weeks of concern, at times – that is normal, too. The anxiety we choose to add to the moments, days, and weeks of concern only adds to the burdens we already carry. Life is what it is.
What is meditation? In truth, there is no absolute definition. Meditation can be another word for praying, or it can be the practice of mindfulness and everything in between. During prayer or meditation, the idea is to quiet our minds, to get out of our heads, and listen to the spirit within. It sounds easy enough, but when we try to quiet our minds, we realize there are a massive number of thoughts and dialogues going on inside our heads. And, the reality is, the majority of the noise in our heads is related to limiting thoughts and dialogues – those things we tell ourselves we can’t do, can’t be, etc.
So, back to walking meditation. Some say it is a good way to learn meditation for beginners. I think it is a good way to meditate, period. I tried the usual meditation posture many times. I could never successfully shut off the noise in my head long enough to hear the spirit voice within – until I started walking meditation. Sometimes I listen to podcasts, and sometimes I am content to practice being in the moment, to drink in the sights and sounds of life and nature. In either case, my mind is free to wander, and it is in this state that I hear the spirit voice within. By the time I get home, my mind has cleared, I feel lighter, more able to handle what lies ahead.
The world can seem like a harsh place to live. We need breaks from life, from people, from care, stress, worry, and anxiety. We need to stop the dialogues inside our heads long enough to refresh and reset. Even if we don’t get to walk where we would like, we still reap the reward. Walking meditation – give it a try…..