30-DAY MINDFUL BLOGGING CHALLENGE – DAY 3
“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Yesterday, I wrote about four ways to practice walking meditation:
- Movement of legs and feet
- Body sensations
Today, I’ll discuss four more ways to practice mindfulness during walking meditation:
During mindful walking, we usually keep our eyes downcast to avoid being distracted. However, when we practice mindful seeing, we can look around and notice the sky, trees, birds or any other object and try to be mindful of whatever we are seeing. Similar to mindful listening, we can mindfully pay attention to the objects that we see while walking without judgment or reaction.
Of course, we can also keep our eyes downcast and be mindful of the ground and other objects. Meditators who practice in this way often report finding money on the ground that others who rush about might not have noticed.
During meditation, our mind tends to wander away from the chosen object of meditation: it may wander to events in the past or the future, it may roll in memories and fantasies, either pleasant or unpleasant.
We soon realize that this is the nature of the mind and as soon as we become aware of this, we bring our attention back to the object of meditation.
However, when we try to be mindful of thoughts, we pay attention to whatever thoughts are going on in the mind.
Rarely, when there’s no thought, we understand, “At present, there’s no thought in the mind.” Whenever a thought arises, we understand, “At present, this thought has arisen in the mind.” And so on.
- Mental states:
Sometimes, we may give attention to our present mental state. For example, “At present, the state of the mind is distracted,” or
“The present mental state is drowsiness,” or
“At present, the mind is calm.”
We note our present mental state moment by moment without judging it or reacting to it.
- Loving Kindness (mettā):
In this meditation, we consciously generate good will for ourselves and for all beings.
For example, we may think,
“May all my thoughts, words and deeds lead to my happiness, my welfare and my liberation from all suffering.
“May all my thoughts, words and deeds lead to the happiness of others, the welfare of others, and the liberation of others from all suffering.”Similarly, we can practice gratitude:
“I am grateful to anyone and everyone who had helped me in any way, large or small, directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly.”We can practice forgiveness:
“I forgive anyone and everyone who may have hurt me in any way, large or small, directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly.”We can practice asking for forgiveness:
“I seek forgiveness from anyone and everyone who I may have hurt in any way, large or small, directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly.”
Finally, we can practice sharing our merits with all beings, especially our parents, family, teachers, and friends, and all beings. This is a good time to share merits with those who have passed away.
So, you can use these eight different ways to practice walking meditation, especially if you find it difficult to practice sitting meditation.
Walking Meditation Action-Step:
Set a timer for ten minutes and try mindful walking. You can focus either on
mindfulness of thoughts
mindfulness of mental states or
loving kindness (mettā).
Join the conversation:
Have you ever practiced walking meditation?
What was your experience?
Let us know in the comments below.