Mindful walking is another way to bring together the body and the mind. When you are connected with body, feet, and breath, you are communicating with the healing earth. A period of undisturbed walking is the opportunity to focus attention as with any mindfulness activity. Try the practice of mindful walking.
“When you walk mindfully, integrate your breath with each step and focus on your foot connecting with the ground. You’re aware that you’re making a step, and you stop thinking altogether. When you think, you get lost in your thinking. You don’t know what is going on in your body, in your feelings, or in the world. If you think while you walk, you are not really walking.”
(Thich Nhat Hanh-taken from The Art of Communicating)
Initially, we tend to concentrate on the sensation of the feet touching the ground. Then with each step, you can focus on your breath and then change your attention to your body, part by part. If your mind wanders you can bring it back to your foot, how it moves and the way the ground feels under your feet.
For me, integrating mindful walking within a more natural setting is essential to focusing my attention and obtaining all of its advantages. Although I can get exercise from my city walks, I need nature to gain the spiritual benefits.
My walks/hikes take me into urban parks and wooded areas, up mountain trails and through forests near lakes, rivers and streams. I can continue to pull up and recall the sound of a crow high in a pine tree and fast flowing water running in the the river , snow melting and dripping off tree branches onto my face, the sun reflecting off the water, a cool breeze rustling the branches of a bush and the taste and smell of an apple I snack on as I move along the path.
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