The meditative walk is a great way to connect with yourself and with nature. In all our retreats it is a fundamental activity that helps us to stop the mind and simple live the present moment as it is.
Here are some basic instructions to enjoy your meditative walk:
1. Bring your attention into your body. It may be helpful to close your eyes and just stand up for a while, feeling the posture and your body weight on the earth. When you feel ready, open the eyes and all your senses and slowly begin walking.
2. Feel your feet walking. Notice the lifting and placing of each foot at each step. Feel the whole body moving, or simply notice the sense of being in the belly and moving from there to the limbs. Find the right place for you to concentrate on.
For most of us it is helpful to walk at a slower pace than our usual one. Slowing down can help us connect to our sensations and our surroundings. If you notice your mind is wandering, just take one deep breath and reconnect.
3. Try to be alert for the subtle “urges” or “intentions” and anticipate them, without acting in an automatic way (eg. to turn the body around, to move to one side, etc). It can be possible to expand this alertness to the intentions to lift, move the legs, place a foot on the ground, the movement of the joints, etc. Awareness of intentions gives more space between conscious urges and following through on them. Let this practice come into your daily life.
4. Simplicity: enjoy just to be a human being walking on the earth slowly, quickly, or as you wish.
5. Attention as fluid as the movements. Not expecting, or holding onto sensations. Not fighting against thoughts, images, feelings. Feel curious about what is called “walking”, all the many muscles and body parts involved, movements, textures, etc.
6. Enjoy your own rhythm. One step at a time, as if you have all the time in the world. As if being moved by the earth. Delicately connected to feet, legs, belly, or whole body while also open, spacious, allowing sounds, sights and sensations to happen in and around.
7. Be transparent: Nature happening “inside” as well as “outside”. Simply perceive bare experience.