Today I needed to go and collect my new glasses. I decided to use the opportunity to go on a walking meditation, noticing anything within and outside of me. It was actually a really interesting walk!
We are so often busy, dashing from one place to the next that we never really stand in our present moments.
Well, as I walked I first began to notice the feel and sound of my feet as I took steps. The rythmn and beat is quite hypnotic in some ways. Within that I noticed that my foot is still not quite healed from my accident back in December. There is a slight pull on my big toe and I could do with stretching and strengthen that foot a little more consciously. Noticing this caused me to slow my pace and pay more attention to fully extending my foot from heel to toe with each step.
I then began to notice the sounds around me. The wind through the trees, cars, a motorbike in the distance. Bees buzzing around me, people chatting in their gardens. A dog barking, I decided to pay complete attention to the birds in the trees. By really focusing I found that I could still hear them, even with a car passing right next to me. I recognised that there are so many noises and this can overwhelm the senses at times and when I approached a busier section of road, I found my thoughts began to wander and my heart speed up. It was then that I brought my focus back to my feet. I had begun to walk faster! The more my mind wandered and jumped between several thoughts, the faster I had begun to walk and the less attention I had started to pay to being present.
I found this fascinating, really digging deeper into my walking meditation and noticing more and more about how the things around me can have such an impact on how present I am.
By noticing without judgement, by being present, I had been able to recognise my foot discomfort, I had been able to really stretch my focal skills on listening to one sound above others and I had been able to note what outside influences, can impact on my ability to focus on being present in the now.
Another interesting thing happened too. As I walked slowly and deliberately, feeling each step through my body, I noticed how fast everyone else was walking. I had to really concentrate on my own present self to not start speeding up my steps again.
It was a great exercise and that little step further for me than my normal mindful walks. I felt calm, despite the busy people and streets around me, I felt centred, happy, grounded and in my own personal space. I also smiled more. I smiled at the birds, I smiled at the trees and flower in bloom, I smiled and said afternoon to people as they crossed my path and I smiled inwardly too.
Why don’t you give it a try. Walking meditation is something we can do anywhere, anytime. If you’ve not tried it before, start off with a quieter route like the forest or a green space. As you become more accustomed to noticing and being, while walking, move onto places that may provide more interest and stretch those mindful abilities further.