This walking meditation gives us an opportunity to bring our awareness to movement which is so often lost when distracted or when the mind is left to its own devices. By paying attention to our movement, breath and surroundings we are able to calm the mind, body and be fully present.
Start your walk at a natural pace, whether that is at a speed or with slow strides, allow your arms and hands to be where they are comfortable and start to bring your attention to your feet. Notice the way the heel lifts, the sole of the foot peels off the ground, the ball of the foot raises and followed by the toes. Notice how each step feels. Do you walk lightly on the feet or is there a heaviness to each step? Do you walk on the outside of the foot? Are you able to notice all 10 toes?
Notice the muscles of the legs responding to the movement of the foot. The muscles move in such a way to balance the body as it shifts, notice which muscles relax and which have to work as you move.
Expand your attention to the movement of the whole body as you stride, the hips, the chest, the arms, the shoulders, the neck. Notice if there is any stiffness, tightness or restrictions to the movement. Tune into the entire body moving as you walk. The slower you walk the more sensations you’ll notice.
Expand your attention to the sounds around you, try not to label anything as a good or bad sound, allow it to be a sound.
Notice the tactile sensations, starting with the ground beneath your feet and the surface you are walking on, is it hard or is it soft? Do you notice a cool or warm breeze against your skin? Is the sun warming your skin? Is there rain in the air? How does it feel?
Become aware of your visual surroundings, begin to notice everything around you. Observe animals and how they move, the beauty of nature, all the shapes and colours in your sight as if seeing everything for the first time, with wonder and awareness.
Take a moment to notice how you feel after mindful walking, it’s so easy to take walking for granted without taking in the environment around us. This is a great way of clearing the mind and coming into the body to enjoy the benefits of being present.