Walking In Awareness

The sound of the choir of birds this morning was glorious. I walked in meditation along the stream and enjoyed each moment. I thought I would share with you today one of my favorite things to do. Walking meditation is a wonderful way to be in the world especially out in nature. When I do my daily contemplative walks I take myself away from the rush of life and settle into the present moment. I walk in silent awareness of all that is, both in me, my thoughts and in the world around me. I am fully present to my inner dialogue and my body in movement. I feel the air, I hear the sounds and I experience a connection to the earth and my fellow inhabitants. This morning I had encounters with a human, two friendly dogs, a large blue heron, a pair of ducks, some honking geese and the bird choir. In this meditative state all these interactions are appreciated as colors on the palate of now. I walk and co-create each moment with all there is around me. Life is so beautiful being in the moment.

Now lets talk a little about the method. I have been blessed to have as one of my teachers of walking mediation a wonderful Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hahn. His book on walking meditation is wonderful resource. I learned to be present in the walk by slowing down and noticing my feet as they touched the earth on each step. This moment to moment experience of touching the earth is powerful for quieting the mind of the endless ramblings of life. In each step I am aware and conscious of life and myself traveling through it. Imagine the Buddha walking slowing with the regal grace of royalty and the humbleness of a gentle soul.

I have found walking in a quiet place in nature to be my favorite. But through the neighborhood in the morning and/or evening will work just fine. The walk is slow but not so slow that most would even notice. I find following my breath as I walk very helpful. Usually my breath deepens as I go as if I am breathing in more of each moment. I like to hold my hands together in a relaxed way. Often a smile makes its way on to my face because the joy of this practice is always there. When my walking is deep I experience the world around me as if all is connected in a wonderful unity of light, color and clarity. These moments of expansion are fully of consciousness and wonder.

I invite you to explore walking meditation as a way to be more present to the all that you are and to all the world has to offer. Make this contemplative practice your own by experimenting with what works for you. I have had wonderful teachers but I learn much more by doing and exploring what worked for me. The rewards of this practice will be the grace you receive from being more present to life. Enjoy and be conscious.