With the body scan meditation, we practiced looking over our entire body, practicing mindful awareness while we were at rest. In this meditation, we will use that focused awareness on our body and the concentration from week one to observe our body in motion, specifically while walking.
In this meditation, we will observe our body as we walk slowly. It is recommended heavily that we take the time to walk exceptionally slow. To begin this meditation, find a place where you can walk at least 20 steps. Some people prefer to walk back and forth, while others prefer to walk in a circle (around the block, around a park, etc.). Finding your spot, stand with both feet flatly on the ground.
Notice how your feet feel resting flat on the ground. As the weight of your body pushes on the ground, the ground pushes back with equal and opposite force. Feel where your feet are touching the ground, and where you can feel the force in your ankles, calves, shins, knees, etc.
Lifting one foot up slowly, notice how the foot gradually comes up, heel first, then toe. Feel your leg muscles working to lift your foot up. As you lean the foot forward through the air, be mindful of the muscles working to make this happen. When you set your foot down, observe the heel coming into contact with the ground, then the toe.
As you continue to move slowly, be present for the experience of your body working hard to make each small movement happen. Lifting your foot, the ground slowly falls out of contact. Your feet, ankle, leg, hips, back, and abdomen often go into the process. Be mindful of each part of each step in this fashion.
After some time has passed, we often speed up slightly. If you have the moment of clarity, slow back down. Everyone has a different speed that works for them, so don’t judge yourself. Just make sure you are going at the right pace to be truly mindful of your body as it moves.
You may set a timer for this meditation, or walk a certain distance. If you set your endpoint to a certain location, keep in mind that you will hopefully be walking fairly slow. Don’t set something too far away as your goal. Also, I find that I often speed up when I know I am getting closer to my end location, so I try to be mindful of this tendency.
When you are finished with your mindfulness practice of walking slowly, walk the rest of your day mindfully. Walking at a regular pace, try to be mindful of your body working to make it happen.
I hope this meditation goes well for everyone! Something a little different than a sitting meditation, but a demonstration of where we may meditate every day!