“Walk slowly, in a relaxed way. When you practice this way, your steps are those of the most secure person on earth. Feel the gravity that makes every step attach to the earth. With each step, you are grounded on the earth.”
” While walking, practice conscious breathing by counting steps. Notice each breath and the number of steps you take as you breathe in and as you breathe out. Don’t try to control your breathing. Allow your lungs as much time and air as they need, and simply notice how many steps you take as your lungs fill up and how many you take as they empty, mindful of both your breath and your steps. The link is the counting.”
“When you walk uphill or downhill, the number of steps per breath will change. Always follow the needs of your lungs. You may notice that your exhalation is longer than your inhalation. You might find that you take three steps during your in-breath and four steps during your out-breath, or two steps, then three steps. If this is comfortable for you, please enjoy practicing this way. You can also try making the in-breath and the out-breath the same length, so that you take three steps with your in-breath and three with your out-breath. Keep walking and you will find the natural connection between your breath and your steps.”
“Don’t forget to practice smiling. Your half-smile will bring calm and delight to your steps and your breath and help sustain your attention. After practicing for half an hour or an hour, you will find that your breath, your steps, your counting, and your half-smile all blend together in a marvelous balance of mindfulness. Each step grounds us in the solidity of the earth. With each step we fully arrive in the present moment.”
WHEN: Suspended November 15 - March 12.
WHERE: Abbey Nature Preserve
10200 US Highway 17
Wilmington, NC 28411
Please arrive 5-10 minutes early,
the walk begins at 7:30 AM.
We will meet at the entrance sign
near the lower parking lot, across
from the stables.
Take a few deep breaths.
Settle into a quiet mental space for reflection.
As you walk, try to focus your attention on one or more sensations that you would normally take for granted, such as your breath coming in and out of your body; the movement of your feet and legs, or whatever your eyes take in as they focus on the world in front of you.
“Our breathing has the function of helping our body and mind to calm down. As we walk, we can say, breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I bring peace into my body. Calming the breath calms the body and reduces any pain and tension.”
“We are made of body and mind. Our body can radiate the energy of peace and compassion. Our mind also has energy. The energy of the mind can be powerful. If the energy of the mind is filled with fear and anger, it can be very destructive. But if we sit mindfully, if we walk mindfully and reverently on the earth, we will generate the energies of mindfulness, of peace, and of compassion in both body and mind. This kind of energy can heal and transform.”
“When we walk mindfully, we see the beauty and the wonder of the earth around us… If our mind is caught and preoccupied with our worries and suffering, we miss these things…When we look again at the earth and the sky, we see that the earth is a wonderful reality.”
“The energy of peace and mindfulness does not come from elsewhere. It comes from us. It comes from our capacity to breathe, to walk, to sit mindfully and recognize the wonders of life.”
“When you walk reverently and solidly on this earth and I do the same, we send out waves of compassion and peace. It is this compassion that will heal ourselves, each other, and this beautiful green earth.”
THICH NHAT HANH
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR MIND WANDERS
No matter how much you try to fix your attention on any of these sensations, your mind will inevitably wander. That’s OK — it’s perfectly natural. When you notice your mind wandering, simply try again to focus it on one of those sensations.
WALKING MEDITATION IN YOUR DAILY LIFE
For many people, slow, formal walking meditation is an acquired taste. But the more you practice, even for short periods of time, the more it is likely to grow on you. Keep in mind that you can also bring mindfulness to walking at any speed in your everyday life, and, over time, you can try to bring the same degree of awareness to any everyday activity, experiencing the sense of presence that is available to us at every moment as our lives unfold.
REFLECTION AFTER THE PRACTICE
What did you notice in yourself as you engaged in this practice?
Which aspects of the practice were most memorable?
What would happen if you practiced walking in this way one or more times a week?
Located at 106 Marshall Court Unit 120 Wilmington, N. C. 28411
(just behind Winslett and Walls Dental Excellence 7643 Market Street)
text or Call 910-520-6846
Copyright © 2019 Bhavana C ommunity of Coastal Carolina - All Rights Reserved.
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