Moving With Presence, Walking Meditation

Moving with Presence 

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of walking meditation as a way to connect body and soul with the here and now. Through intentional, mindful walking, “We generate peace within our body, our consciousness.”

The past is already gone, and the future is not yet here.
There is only one moment for us to live, and that is the present moment.

We have a tendency to get caught in the sorrow and regret concerning the past, and to get caught in the fear and uncertainty about the future, so our mind is not in the present. A step taken with concentration, with mindfulness, is a step taken without the worries, and anxiety that separate us from the present. We become fully alive, fully present.

We don’t need a special set-up to be mindful. We can practice mindfulness while sitting at the desk, doing the dishes or taking a walk, anytime. Mindful walking meditation is a perfect complement to our seated meditation practice – it’s “meditation, mindfulness in motion.”

Walking meditation is more than just strolling about. We are training in being as mindful as possible: this is about being aware of our body and physical sensations as we move. Our eyes are open and our mind and body are coordinated and fully felt in the present.

*  Begin by standing or sitting still. Arms and shoulders relaxed.
 
*  Feel yourself supported by the earth.

*  Take a deep breath, inhaling and exhaling fully. Relax your shoulders.
Relax and bring your awareness into your body, being fully present here and now.

*  Keep your gaze slightly downward.

*  Begin walking a little slower than usual, more mindfully, and bring your attention, your awareness to the sensation of moving. Feel you legs as you pick one up and feel your foot as it steps down. Have your full attention on feeling your movement.
     
*  Coordinate your breathing and your walking.
 Take 3 steps as you mindfully breathe in, one step for the pause, and 3 steps for the out-breath. We all breathe and walk a little differently, so use what works for you, but do coordinate your mind and your body.

*  You can look around for a moment if something catches your eye, appreciate it, do not start to define it or get caught up in it, just simply see it, appreciate it, and bring your eyes back to your front, and return to NOW.
 
*  As some thoughts may come up, acknowledge them and gently release the thinking.
Bring your full attention back to your walking, your movement.

Feel your feet, your legs and arms moving. Let all your senses be alive.
Feel the simple strength of the Present Moment, and your movement. 


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