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How to soothe your mind with nature walking meditation

 

Scenic view while doing nature walking meditation

 

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

 

Miss Coco shares her nature walking tips

Miss Coco’s view on Nature Walking Meditation

 

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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28 Responses to “How to soothe your mind with nature walking meditation”

  1. What a wonderful description of something we all probably do but don’t consciously use as a meditation. I cannot tell you how much I love and am inspired by this. I am refreshed by nature and can easily take this on. Your descriptions are so clear. I may not have a Miss Coco to walk beside me (wish I did) but most often hubby does. It will be good for both of us to walk & meditate with nature. Our compound has many trees, plants, animals, birds & surprises.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You will love the nature walking meditation, Roslyn, it is an entirely different experience that makes the mundane become beautiful. Nature walking meditation also makes us more alert and observant. Enjoy the walk with hubby!

  2. Tamuria says:

    It was lovely doing a virtual nature walking meditation with you Vatsala, I really felt like I was there with you and Miss Coco and I could hear the laughter of the senior citizens and the birds chirping. When I’m in tune with nature I’m at my happiest. During my daily walks, I really try to shut down my brain and focus on my surroundings. I’m conscious of my posture but need to pay attention to my breathing as well. When I’m writing and I get stuck on how to say something I often go into my garden and walk around to clear my head and the answer is almost always revealed. I love your tips on nature walking and it’s good to know you don’t have to be sitting in a quiet room with your eyes closed to gain the peace of meditation.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      What a lovely visualization, Tamuria. The garden is a great source for inspiration. There is something about being in Nature that reminds us that we aren’t alone.

  3. Kimberly says:

    I have kind of done this when walking Teddy, but I am going to mindfully do it, now! I do meditate most days, and i still struggle with getting my mind quiet. Great tips, thank you!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      We all have those days when the mind just won’t be silent and we end up thinking that we have a failed meditation, Kimberly. The best solution is to allow the mind to participate, especially when you have the delightful Teddy as your companion. Enjoy your walk!

  4. Reba Linker says:

    How sweet – Miss Coco is such a guru! I love it. You are so blessed. I love your ideas for making a walk a meditation – I find them all so self-loving and self-accepting. Thank you, Vatsala!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      That little girl, Miss Coco, is very wise for her size and years, Reba. In fact, I feel I am a better person for the love and teachings that all my furry pets have given me over the years.

  5. Andrea says:

    You’ve described my favorite form of meditation… and I’m fortunate to have four-legged family members to assist with my mindfulness. Thanks for sharing.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I love it when readers and visitors share that they too engage in nature walking meditation with furry family members, Andrea. The more the merrier!

  6. Julia says:

    This sounds like a heavenly way to ground and get back in touch with the healing energy of nature. When my dog was more active our walks together were a similar time of reconnection for me. Like you say I was always amazed by how much I noticed that I missed on the days when I was just rushing by. Much love to you and Miss Coco.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Miss Coco sends you her best wishes and so do I, Julia. Miss Coco went through a difficult time last year when she suffered hind leg paralysis and the vet gave her a 30% chance of ever walking again. It must have been a Divine message to go and buy a baby pram and I used to take her for a walk in it and then follow the ritual of going into the garden. With time her motivation came back and with physio exercises that I learned off YouTube, she started walking again. There is a lot to be said about nature walking meditation with a furry friend that we pet parents enjoy.

  7. Latrelle says:

    I love using walking as a meditation – I also love challenging my lungs by doing breathing exercises while I walk 😉

    Such a nice post and a good reminder about how we can grasp the power of meditation during any activity 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Latrelle. Walking is often the easiest form of exercise when we are recovering from illness although in moderation.

  8. Natasha Botkin says:

    Love nature meditative walking; when my sweet girl Brownie was alive, I was able to just let go. I am now learning to walk and be attentive to my surroundings. xoxo

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Walks are always more fun when we have our furry friends with us, Natasha. In the days when my parents were posted in Minsk and had a huge forest behind their house, our dachshunds were allowed off the leash to run and play. We often had mishaps like the time Bruno chased a hare down its hole and came out stinking. Mom cried her heart out while bathing Bruno with lots of shampoo while my Dad stood near by to give her moral support (Bruno wouldn’t let anyone else touch him). Enjoy your walks in honor of Brownie and the times you had together.

  9. This is wonderful, Vatsala! Yes, walking is my meditation. I find my awareness is heightened and I feel the birds are singing their songs to me. I’ve also tried the mindfulness method where you focus on your steps. Right. Left. Right. Left. It truly brings you into your body, legs and feet and you “feel” yourself firmly on the ground. As someone who loves to fly out of my body, walking has been the ideal way for me to consciously be in my body and incarnated. Although I do have moments where I am flying high with the clouds above me. I love how you incorporated the breathing into this to add a sense of relaxation and calm. This is the perfect time of year here to be out walking and enjoying the natural world around us!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Walking in general is a good cardio exercise and I’m thrilled to learn that it is your meditation, Beverley. The only time I ever tried a mindfulness method of focusing on my steps was when we were being taught to walk in a straight line in school and that too with a heavy book on our head. It is interesting for me because I do sometimes count steps for amusement and never really thought of it as a meditation exercise. I’ve learned something new today. Happy Nature Walking!

  10. Walking meditation is one of the first I ever learned. Like this: Take a mantra (one syllable or many) and repeat a syllable each time your foot hits the ground. It’s lovely and a great way to get focused.

    I also love the kind of meditation you describe. I like to work through my senses. What am I seeing? Then hearing? Then smelling, and so on. I live in a place of beauty, on the SF Bay Trail, and love to do my walks with this focus. The light on the water. The gulls and the geese. The marine smells. It’s just beautiful.

    Thank you. Great post. Will share it now.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I’m going to try your suggested walking meditation, Sue. Mantras are a part of the Hindu prayers too and I might discover a new way of praying too. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I’ve always enjoyed walking and hiking not only for the exercise but because it helps me to feel in the present and really see things. I haven’t tried incorporating meditation or any mindfulness exercises, but I definitely will. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Tricia says:

    I loved this. Thank you for sharing. I walk or run several times a week. I am going to use the mindful meditation

    • Karmic Ally says:

      That’s wonderful, Tricia. You’ll enjoy the mindful meditation part of the walk so much that you won’t remember what it was like before you started.

  13. What a beautiful walking routine. I especially like the part when the sun destroys any negativity attached to your aura. I use to walk all the time, but I barely ever do no since we moved to this new location a few years ago. You are absolutely tempting me!

  14. Vanita says:

    Thanks for a lovely post and the vivid descriptions, it was almost like meditating oneself!Spring is coming soon, it will be wonderful to try this.Thanks once again!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Glad you enjoyed the mini-guided meditation, Vanita. With Spring around the corner, you’ll definitely get the full benefit when you try the meditation surrounded by Mother Nature.

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Meet your coach

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who've hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust. 

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

 

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

 
I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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