So I’m guessing just like me, you guys have read my blogs and said, “That sounds great, but…” and did nothing. That is exactly how I felt the first time someone introduced meditation to me. I didn’t think I could actually meditate. The response I got when stating my “can’t do” attitude was that I should meditate about it. Great advice, right? But how? So many months went by and I was still feeling stressed at every moment: Headaches, stiff neck, sore muscles, agitation, irritability, etc. Then I met someone that didn’t tell me to “meditate” on my reaction to meditation; she offered to actually help me learn how to meditate. She asked for 10 minutes a day for two weeks and an open mind. I started simple with some of the techniques I’ve already shared with you; by increasing the time spent meditating, I increased my results.
I was often asked how I would describe my personality; it was easy to say, “I just go with the flow,” but in reality, I was constantly trying to keep up, conform, direct or stop the flow to suit my needs. When I finally took the time to be still, I realized that even the bad things in life have a purpose and I was just a small part of something far bigger than me. I began to realize that by recognizing the power of the flow, and allowing myself to float on the current; I could float on the current and be at peace, or I could continue trying to control it and watch myself sink to the bottom of the river in a misery of my own making. I’d like to think I made the right choice.
So I am offering you an alternative to traditional “still” meditation, in hoping that if you haven’t found the time yet, you can give this a try. Here is a great relaxation form of meditation to try while you are on the move.
When we walk slowly around the room (outdoors, in our office, down the hallway, in the parking lot) for walking meditation, called kinhin – meditation on the move. It allows us some “still” time on the move and a break from our physical and mental desk chairs.
On your own it is a good practice to break up long sittings by getting up for a walk, which keeps you fresh and alert.
Just walk slowly around the room (or you can go outside) and notice your footsteps and breathing as you go along. Let sights and sounds pass through, returning your mind to your feet. Feel the good earth beneath your feet. If the weather is warm enough it’s better to walk without socks, then you can feel the carpet or the hardwood.
When you slow down the walking pace and become aware of your feet, your posture will automatically improve as you relax. Bring your head up and let your shoulders fall naturally. Clasp your hands over your navel with the left hand cupping the right fist. If you go outside, or you want to do mindful walking in public – on your way to work for example – just touch your thumbs to your index fingers on each hand, and let your arms hang at your sides. This is quite unobtrusive.
Walking meditation is less intensely concentrated than seated meditation. It can act as a sort of halfway house between meditation practice on your cushion and the mindfulness of everyday life.