Taking in the Good. A Walking Meditation.
To practice present awareness and achieve a happier state of being “in the moment.”
While walking, practice being in the here and now by noticing, pausing and taking in sights, sounds, aromas and textural sensations that please you.
- Take frequent walks. Regular walking is beneficial for body, mind and spirit.
- Walk at whatever pace suits you and check in with the physical sensations of walking: the feel of your feet on the path, the flex of your legs and arms. Without effort, relax your upper body. Notice your breathing.
- When you have established a comfortable rhythm start to become more aware of your surroundings. Experience where you are and what is in the vicinity – whether you are in the country or the city is not important.
- As you stay in touch with your surroundings you will notice that certain details catch your eye (or nose or ears.) When one of these details elicits a pleasurable response, stop walking and take some breaths to take in and experience the positive feeling. This is called “taking in the good.” Encourage yourself to relish these moments, – as Rick says in Chapter 4 of “Buddha’s Brain”, “bring a mindful awareness to them — open up to them and let them affect you……….Savor the experience…………Make it last by staying with it for 5, 10, 20 seconds”
- When you have given yourself enough time to notice all the inner sensations of a particular pleasurable occurrence, continue your walk until you encounter the next thing that calls up a positive response.
- Most places are packed with “opportunities for positive response.” You don’t have to be in the middle of beautiful scenery or a well-tended garden, though these are certainly positive experiences. Opportunities aplenty exist on busy city streets – in well crafted building details, the playfulness of a puppy, the gurgle of rainwater falling into a catch-basin, the smile of a stranger on the path, the smell of coffee roasting, the crunch of new fallen snow. Keep looking and you will certainly find these opportunities.
- Continue until you feel “full.”
- Conclude the meditation by sitting quietly, being with yourself for at least five minutes.
This is a variation of a mindfulness walking meditation where the object of focus is the felt sense of pleasurable feelings. The story of its ‘spontaneous generation’ is told in detail here: http://bit.ly/ttziSN
Obvious reasonable precautions about walking in safe areas are advised.