In this exercise simply stop and enjoy a few moments in silence as you consciously engage your sense of listening. You might like to name one or two things at the edges of your vision in your mind. I liked your post so much that I mentioned it in today’s post. If you are interested in being outdoors while meditating, here are some tips for how to hike more mindfully: What is walking meditation. Next time you find yourself outdoors, whether you’re heading off for a hike or even a short stroll, see if you can remember to take a few moments to stop and tune into your surroundings, as well as your physical body, by consciously engaging your senses. This exercise explores and encourages the full use of your peripheral vision—the ability we all have to see out of the corners of our eyes. It should be safe, secluded, quiet, still, and as empty as possible – so there is little distraction. For some people, it is actually an introduction for it, since it is easier to start with. Walking is an activity that is aimed at practically everyone: all you need is a pair of hiking shoes and a great desire to explore. Unlike other practices, in which we simply observe the breath, in pranayama we actively guide the breath. What do you think about doing walking meditation on a treadmil? Breathe with the suggested pattern for a few times, just standing, before you start with the steps. The movement of your muscles. Meditation, or any activity often called Meditation, holds some stigma. And also offer a chance for the body to replenish. This is a 2.75 hour (3 mile) hike through oak, bay and redwood trees on the Palos Colorados-Sequoia Bay View Loop Trail in Joaquin Miller Park. Types of Meditation – An Overview of 23 Meditation Techniques, Episode 15: Dr. Rick Hanson Interview on Mindful Relationships. Keep your eyes cast down about five or six feet in front, un-focused. Keeping your arms straight, and continuing to wiggle your fingers, slowly move your arms away from each other while still holding your gaze on your chosen point of focus. Catherine Morey-Nase, founder of The WellBeing Corner, is a mindfulness meditation teacher who runs Mindful Hiking Days and Mindful Meanders in and around Melbourne, Australia. After reading what was available on walking meditation, which typically advise focusing on the flow of our “in” and “out” breaths, I developed my own techniques for practicing mindful walking and hiking. It is simple. Pay attention to the experience of walking, and keep your awareness engaged in this experience. Walking meditation is quite different. I use treadmill regularly to achieve my daily walking steps target (10,000) . Do your best to experience sounds as pure sensations. If after a while you notice that you are saying “right” for the left foot, and vice-versa, you know that your attention has wandered. Keep your pace and your breathing steady, and repeate your mantra with each step (if it’s a short one); or break it into a few steps (for longer mantras). Allow yourself a few moments to settle into your body. It could be time to look outward at the company we keep. Bring conscious awareness to the taste and texture of your food. As you develop your ability of focus while walking like this, by time you can also integrate it in less formal walks in your daily life. In the Yoga tradition, walking meditation is not as popular as in the Buddhist tradition, where this type of meditation is more emphasized. Try walking meditation on a treadmill and then on the earth, and you will feel the difference. So, needless … Practitioners walk clockwise around a room, in a very specific posture. For those that do long sessions of seated practice, walking meditation can be helpful to overcome the torpor and lethargy that unavoidably comes. If one wants to create walking meditation as their intent to go further into a meditative state they can. Note the sensations felt. (Gil Fronsdal). Now look closely at an object that catches your attention, such as a leaf or the bark on a tree. The meditation technique you will learn can also be used in the midst of daily activities. Try to dedicate your attention to the sensations of walking and let go of everything else. In this post I will explore the importance and the “how to” of walking meditation in the traditions of Buddhism, Yoga, and Daoism (Taoism). Of all walking meditations that I found, this is the one with the most elaborate mental aspect of the training. Look down—notice shadows, patterns, colors, and textures on the ground. Studies suggest that being outdoors may help decrease anxiety and depression, increase feelings of well-being, and bring a sense of restoration. Notice if your mind wants to label or judge sounds. They are presented in no particular order, and are not requisites for one another. Bring your awareness to your body, noticing how your body feels as you are standing, and becoming aware of all the sensations going on. How is meditation different from walking? Pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. Hiking's effectiveness as a stress-relief technique comes from a combination of healthy things that hiking rolls into one. The air temperature. We use our peripheral vision less and less in our everyday lives due to the increasing amount of time most of us spend looking at one type of screen or another. Flash attention in and out of the meditative state to make any course adjustments on the walk, as needed. Throughout your hike try taking “snapshots” with your mind. Hiking is an opportunity to keep muscles in shape, control weight, improve metabolism and, as stated by the American Hiking Society, Hiking reduces stress and anxiety. By consciously holding our awareness in our bodies, without forcing anything, we can encourage the body to begin to soften and relax. Walk at a leisurely pace, ignoring the surroundings as much as possible. Stop, close your eyes, and bring conscious awareness to your sense of smell. Non-concentrative meditation, on the other hand, can include a broader focus such as the sounds in your environment, internal body states, and even your own breathing. You can learn more about his approach and philosophy through a book he co-authored. (…) Walking in a circle is a technique that is sometimes used, but the disadvantage is that the continuity of a circle can conceal a wandering mind. Keep the body and mind walking and breathing in a well-balanced, concentrated way. When they are no longer compelling, you can return to the walking meditation. If you notice an object with an interesting texture—a rock covered in soft, velvety moss, for example—explore it with your hands focusing quite deliberately on your sense of touch. Pay attention to any areas of stiffness or pain in the body, and consciously relax them. And also “May I be happy, may I be at peace, may I be free from all suffering”. Is it on the soles of the feet?”, and thus reestablish mindfulness. Having enjoyed some (if not all) of the above mindfulness exercises, walking in silence is a wonderful way to enjoy the latter part of your hike. Ii also enjoy the Therevavada option (it was the first method I was introduced to) – but do most of my moving meditation with tai chi. You might spend the period of silent walking consciously holding awareness in your body. In the Chinese tradition we find some walking meditations that are more focused on physical health; others use visualization to harmonize body and mind; and yet others are more “freeform”. If you know of other Yoga-based walking meditation, let me know and I’ll update this section. Not the best way to go about this practice. Take the time to feel the stability of the ground. Readers of this blog and walkers might be interested in my book, Walk Like a Mountain: The Handbook of Buddhist Walking Practice. Allow yourself to become really aware of where you are. It is a term that conjures images of the dreadlocked, patchouli wearers who … A period of silent walking offers you an opportunity to consciously engage your senses in any number of ways, relaxing both mind and body as you do. If you’re looking to lower your stress levels, you may find it useful to do a seated … The trail is primarily used for hiking and bird watching. When we do this we overcome dispersion and dwell peacefully in the present moment, which is the only moment for us to be alive. The sensations of walking can be more compelling than the more subtle sensations of breathing while sitting. 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