“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
These days meditation is at the forefront of my life. Being still has brought a sense of peace and helped ‘unstick’ some stuck places.
While I’m a lot more comfortable with the idea of quieting the mind stuff, I couldn’t help but wonder how to find ways to still my mind as I’m living life. The benefits of mediation of yoga are amazing. How could I be more mindful while doing day-to-day activities?
For example I can’t tell you how many times I commutes home from work careening down the NJ Turnpike at 80 mph only to arrive at the parking garage with no recollection of any of it. Yikes.
Even now, I walk from point A to point B without remembering the journey.
I’m distracted by an outside force like a phone or by an inside distraction like my wandering mind. Lately though, I’ve embraced the idea of meditating while while in transit. Some call it mindful walking. Buddhism says that by being mindful we create a foundation of well-being and happiness.
Yesterday afternoon, I grabbed Dakota and headed out into my neighborhood. I didn’t have a destination, just a desire to stay in the moment.
Five things that helped me during my mindful walk:
- Posture. Standing tall I closed my eyes and mentally scanned my body to see if I was holding onto tightly in certain areas and made a conscious effort to let go.
- Breathing. Before I started walking in took deep inhales and exhales. As I began my walk I tried to pay attention to how I was breathing.
- Intention. Setting an intention was helpful. It allowed me to create a shape to the practice without feeling like a test.
- Attention. Before walking I noticed the ground under my feet. As I moved I directed my thoughts to how my heel connected with the sidewalk. It felt like cat/cow, I observed my foot touching the ground and felt the moment just when it lifted off the ground.
- Acceptance. Once I was moving I noticed the breeze on my face and the hang of my jacket on my shoulders. I acknowledged smells, sounds and sights.
Are there ways that you meditate while in motion? Mindful cycling in next on my list.
Below are pics of a few discoveries.