It happens to all of us. There are days when despite one’s best intentions we may find it difficult to sit still with our eyes closed and meditate with our mind rushing all over the place.
Considering that the entire objective of meditation is to help calm the mind, what does one do when the mind is too active to settle down and you need activity rather than sitting or lying down in 1 place?
You have choices. One is to engage in chakra balancing exercises or you can do what Miss Coco and I do.
This week, Miss Coco joins me to introduce you to nature walking meditation. I often practice in the mornings while walking little Coco around the compound and sometimes even in the late afternoon when my energy levels and attention power are at an ebb. From what I can make out, Coco does it along with me!
Meditation for folks who really cannot sit with their eyes closed
This is how we do it and you can too.
As with regular meditation, I focus on my breathing. Since I am walking and cannot close my eyes, I inhale consciously, aware of the air filling in my lungs and then exhale, imagining that I am sending out any negative or irrelevant thoughts of my mind. I know this step is working when I experience a sense of weight being lifted off my shoulders and a sudden sense of energy.
It’s also a great time to focus on one’s posture and body movements. I like to imagine that a string is pulling me from the top of my head and I walk with my back straight. This helps a lot if you have a job where you might be spending hours in front of the desk or a computer. (Do you have control over your work space stress? Find out with this quiz)
Coco likes to stop every now and then to look around and I’ve learned that a walk is more than a walk; it is a chance to notice my surroundings. It never ceases to amaze me how there are things that I miss while walking the same path on my way home but when we do our nature meditation, our route seems to come alive! I notice the trees where little leaf buds are emerging and the new flowers that have blossomed since the previous morning walk.
It isn’t just the colors and changes in the scenery; I become aware of the sounds around me. I can hear 3 to 4 different types of birds each conversing with its flock! There is a symphony of twitters with pigeons, mynas, parrots, crows and even the little house sparrow joining in! Sometimes, if we are out early enough, we can hear the laughter of the Senior Citizens Laughter Club members in the park behind my housing compound and I start to laugh while Coco looks on in amusement and wags her tail.
Our main walk ends when we reach the back lawns and that is a wonderful time to reflect on the walk and the thoughts and feelings that I experienced.
I make it more personal by closing my eyes and facing the Sun, chant the Hindu mantra invoking the strength of the Sun God and request the Sun to destroy any negativity that may be attached to my aura and to strengthen it. In addition to the spiritual aspect this is an excellent way to get a good dose of Vitamin D too.
This is also a good time to use Tool #4 from my post on combating the Fear Bug by walking barefoot letting the soft grass under the feet help to ground oneself for the rest of the day. We continue to look at nature with the lovely birds that by now have been joined by squirrels and perhaps other early morning walkers who wave to us. I usually use this time to also engage in a mental exercise of gratitude for all that I have experienced and the sensations and feelings that I will be taking into the rest of the day.
The beauty of this kind of nature walking meditation is that you can enhance it and make it your own. The core ingredients are focused breathing, awareness of your surroundings, self and reflection. The rest of it is up to you.
Have you ever tried nature walking meditation?
If you were to do the nature walking meditation, what additional rituals would you add to enhance your meditation experience? Please do share in the comments box below!
PS. Need more help? If physical activity is more your style for stress management, then my ebook Stress Management with Chakra Balancing exercises will help. Or contact me and let us see how we can get your stress management skills optimized.
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