Walking Meditation and Spiritual Peace
Spirit of Meditation
Walking Meditation and Spiritual Peace
Buddhists practice what they call "walking meditation," but I wasn't aware of it when I invented my own practice.
I've never fallen under the spell of religious Zen, although as far as nonviolence and, generally, practices that make some sense go, Buddhism's got a leg up on our Western, violent and divisive religions.
Nonetheless, I found things worth taking from it, as I can with most religious practices.
The Stats On Meditaion
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About Conscious Awareness
The ideas in this article are developed from a section in my book about using meditation to increase conscious awareness.
Walking Meditation and Spiritual Peace
Anyway, The Practice.
About five years ago, I found myself bogged down by three seemingly unrelated challenges.
First, I was the unfortunate victim of New York City frazzling, the condition most easily when walking through Times Square and seeing how much healthier the tourists look.
But, of course, we have more fun. Ha ha. Sure we do.
Second, I never seemed able to find enough time to meditate, and third, whenever I wasn't trying to find time to meditate, I was walking around New York, pounding the pavement to earn a living.
You can put the pieces together, but it didn't seem so simple when I was still blinded by my Manhattan rent bill.
Daily meditation – I agree with the sexy and wise Marianne Williamson – is as important as taking a daily shower, neither of which is she willing to go without.
Similarly, meditation is more effective when undertaken with a companion. It's a metaphysical rinse, taking the grit and grime out of your connection to the greater whole.
And you probably smell bad, spiritually speaking, without it.
The problem for me was that, even after my morning meditation, the rest of my day – metaphysically – was like working outdoors in the middle of the summer – physically.
By midmorning, the salubrious effects of that refreshing morning wash had been lost in fresh spiritual sweat and grime.
Mark Thornton, in his entertaining and insightful, Meditation In A New York Minute , recommended a habit of deep-breathing whenever a pause allowed, adding up to at least thirty minutes a day.
He suggested making good use of those fractional minutes spent waiting for lights to change in Midtown Manhattan, even if it required dropping an existing practice such as appreciating the antics of cabbies navigating congested intersections while speaking apparent gibberish on their cell phones.
That worked. I found myself surrendering to bliss in the most unlikely places.
I began to enjoy company meetings, if not for the proper reasons.
But simple bliss was not enough.
Yes, I said "simple bliss" was not enough. I live in New York City, remember.
I demanded that my bliss be tagged with something exceptional.
Appreciation and abundance were qualities I liked, so I decided to one up all those passive, blissful meditators and make my practice about those qualities.
Mark Thornton on Amazon
How Walking Meditation Works
Between my building and my subway station is a ten minute walk along the East River (see photo), the big island a quarter of a mile across the tidal channel.
I decided to pace my walk with steady, even deep-breathing and a single thought – abundance – repeating in my mind.
Recognizing and appreciating abundance, and by doing that attracting more, is very easy when your body and spirit are mellowed out by the good vibrations gained from deep breathing.
I've always been kind of water and sky crazy, easily intoxicated by looking long enough at either. Now, the sky, whether cloudy or clear, became more like a pool of incredible depth.
Details luxuriated in a discovered depth of field. The river gained mass and texture, and the two were differentiated only by density.
I began to see quantum connections, waves of vibration throughout the environment.
The more detail I saw, the nicer I felt. The wealth within my immediate grasp was incalculable.
A little wind picked up trails of dust. Water tickled the shore, just below the seawall. Sunlight bathed the buildings across the river.
In this aura of abundant awareness, of fluid appreciation, the universe was absolutely full, and I was aware of everything, even the invisibles.
You can imagine how much I looked forward to this fix, every morning.
It became my indulgence. It's important to remember, of course, that overdoing it, meditating all the time, can render you as dysfunctional as never doing it.
We are not just our souls. We have a need to integrate with the physical wholeness of ourselves, integration being the most beneficial concentration for any healthy individual.
And, yes, I'm healthy. I rarely even get colds.
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Marianne Williamson on Amazon
Final Thoughts On Walking Meditation
It's less obvious a fact than most might think that a prerequisite for this variation on meditational tuning is that one really needs to know what matters to them.
I'm not talking about taught values. I'm talking about those things our most intense inner voice reminds us about during quiet moments with our souls.
(If you haven't been having such quiet moments, you might want to start soon with the art of listening. Your call.People get happy in their own way. If you want to learn this method, you can't do it without learning to be a reliable reflector.)
And, of course, you chuckle because this caution has no bearing on you. You are there already. Good deal.
Not everyone has the pleasant walk to work along the estuary that I have, and living in a temperate zone, I don't always either. Some may have sweeter circumstances.
Nevertheless, it's important to consciously commit some time for walking in prosperous meditation on a daily basis.
I say daily because, like all other habits, loose practices always end in failure. If you can make time to brush your teeth and shower every day because, not matter what, society demands it, it's just as easy to make time to walk in meditation because your soul demands it.
It doesn't mean giving up anything else. When I walk along the shore, breathing deep and appreciating, I sacrifice nothing. In fact, I enhance everything.
Sooner or later, if you keep up good habits, you'll find you're able to stretch time, enabling yourself to get everything done, in time and in good time.
Blaming a lack of time for not getting things done is like pointing your finger at your own shadow.
You lack time because you lack attitude toward time. So, there.
Don't let this enriching variation replace any part of your regular meditation practice. You do have one, don't you?
For most, as it usually is for me, a daily meditation practice is about nothing but connections, connections with spirit, wholeness, God, source, your spirit guide, whatever that thing is that whispers to you, rings your chimes at just the right note and remembers every perfect thing about you.
Let your walking meditation be about goals, any goals. My goal is and has been appreciation of the abundance around me.
As like attracts like, my ability to see the richness and good fortune that has long been mine guarantees that that is the neighborhood in which I will continue to thrive.
Your goal might be greater sexual presence and experience of expanding intellectual prowess. Only you can know what's in your best interest.
Remember how you discovered things about yourself in meditation? Remember?
They mark you like tattoos, no need to write down notes.
Find yourself in that flow you've created, and keep on dreaming.
Have a nice walk!
© 2010 David Stone
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