Tool Box Tip: Moving Meditation

The path to overall wellness involves a delicate balance between the physical, mental, and emotional elements of your being. Oftentimes that process begins by distracting your conscious stream of thought to access your subconscious – a state many induce successfully through meditation.

Long regarded as a core component of Tai Chi, complementary movements lead you to a state of mental and physical balance. With practice, you become aware of the processes involved in your body and mind, a practice that deepens mental thought and can even lead to spiritual insight. Best of all, it’s a technique that can be practiced almost anywhere – requiring no equipment – and results in zero negative impact on your body.

Moving meditation doesn’t mean you have to sequester yourself in a room somewhere. In fact, many people find that by aligning themselves with the elements of nature, they achieve a purer, more organic connection to their inner-selves. This belief has led to the practice of a “walking trance” or “moving meditation.”

Get started today by following these five basic steps:

  1. Establish your area, whether it’s a dedicated walking path, sidewalk, or some other level surface. Ideally, you’ll have a space of about 15 to 30 feet in length.
  2. Begin by centering your attention on your standing posture and the touch sensations of your feet as they stand on the ground. Lightly clasp your hands in front of your body, allowing your arms to hang relaxed and naturally. Affix your eyes to a point about 6 feet ahead of you and keep your eyes focused on the ground to avoid any surrounding distractions.
  3. Move forward by focusing your attention on the sensations received on the soles of your feet, ignoring feedback from every other part of your body (for the moment).
  4. For the first few minutes, take note of the actions involved in the steps you’re taking: lift, extend, and drop. After this, take note of the additional actions your walking entails: lift, extend, drop, touch and connect. NOTE: Be careful your mental noting doesn’t become too mechanical as it can result in a loss of the sensation of movement.
  5. With this focus, try to achieve 30 minutes of continual walking back and forth over the same path, allowing your mind to relax as it settles into the pattern. Gradually increase your awareness from the soles of your feet up through every other part of your body, releasing the tension in your calves, knees, thighs, hips, back, arms, shoulders, and neck.

 

NOTE: Conscious thought will naturally spring up in the event of distraction. If it is something that is vital to your safety, you can response accordingly. Otherwise, do your best to suppress it by stopping your movement, noting the thought, letting it go, and continuing on undeterred.