Just as mindfulness is the practice of constantly bringing attention to the present moment, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations, but not judging them. Mindful walking is the practice of noticing your surroundings and how your body and mind feel while moving through life. Meditation isn’t necessarily about sitting and being still. Mindful physical movement is essential for becoming more aware of our bodies and minds, as well as the present moment. Mindful Walking through the day employs two important de-stressing methods: movement and mindfulness. Physical activity, even if it’s walking, steadies our heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress-inducing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. On top of the benefits of walking itself, mindful movement requires patience as we maneuver through the spaces we occupy — slowly and deliberately.
Starting with simple or relatively mundane tasks, consciously focus all attention on whatever you are doing now, and nothing more. Inevitably, there is a moment we see where absolutely everything around us is perpetual and in perfect harmony. Everything appears within us, including the separate sense of self that feels somehow lacking, or the victim of a general lack of awareness. When we commit to rooting attention in the endless Presence of Now, all the people, birds, animals, plants, rocks, trees, elements, and all other forms that appear in life are clearly a part of the same vast background presence – experienced directly as one nature.
My simple meditation practice of Just Watching is operative full time. It is based on my direct experiences as a “silent witness”, where the impersonal witness is observing but does not identify with what it observes. It also helped me develop the capacity to temper modulations of energy so that all objects, sounds, or thoughts are both parts and the whole. If we take the time to look directly at the workings of mental activity, the fluid nature of existence is both felt and seen to be flowing into my fingertips and toes. That energy plays a big part in my hands-on healing practice. It also refocuses attention on the physical body, which dilutes the energy that the mind uses to interpret, sort, and divide what it witnesses. It’s more a matter of staying receptive to the present and allowing for a fresh response to ever-changing life circumstances. The salient point is to stop walking from one place to another without being mindful of every step taken. And, when moving through any space, allow the energetic essence of the space to move through you.