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Sole to Soul

November 10, 2017

NOVEMBER PRACTICE OF THE MONTH | Walking Meditation

 

I have always loved sitting still in meditation. It’s so... Meditate-y! But last year, during a meditation retreat, I learned a new technique. It seemed to resonate quite well with new meditators and it reminded me that meditation is not necessarily about stillness, but about mindfulness.
Walking Meditation...

Barefooted, preferably outside, stand with the feet hip width apart. Close your eyes. Feel your weight in your heels. Feel the Earth pressing up in full support. Lift all ten toes off the Earth, feeling the four corners of each foot. One at a time, beginning with the baby toes, reconnect the toes with the ground - keeping them spread wide to create a stable base...

 

Take a deep inhalation through your nose, envisioning the breath flowing from your roots, into the soles of your feet, through your legs, up the length of your spinal column, all the way to the crown of your head - causing you to grow a little bit taller. With the exhalation, slightly lower the chin, lengthening the neck. Feel the shoulders melt down away from the ears, and watch the breath settle all the way back down into your base, your feet, firmly grounding you. Take a few rounds of breath like this, letting go of everything that’s brought you to this point, releasing all concern regarding what is to come, giving yourself permission to just be here - all awareness on the breath, allow it to fully connect you to the Earth...

You may even wish to consider this: when you inhale you’re simply changing the shape of the diaphragm. It’s the atmospheric pressure outside the body that actually forces air into the lungs. Likewise with the exhalation - as you contract the diaphragm, the air is displaced back into the space around you. So essentially, as you breath, the entire universe is moving along with you. Whoa. Let yourself feel this connection, this one-ness, via the power of the breath.

 

Once you’ve settled into your breath, into your body, awareness drawn inward - send that focus into your feet. Notice the physical connection to the Earth. Open your eyes, but keep the drishti soft, gazing through the eyelashes. You may wish to gently clasp your hands behind or in front of you, allowing them to rest lightly against the sacrum or the abdomen. 

 

Very slowly begin to walk - mindfully, deliberately placing each foot on the Earth, heel to toes. All consciousness on the soles of the feet. Feel. Be part of the universe. Let all of the sounds around you, the breeze, the critters, become part of you. Continue to walk, carefully turning when need be, refocusing on the soles of the feet each time the mind wanders. Not judging, just walking. Allowing the union of the mind, the body and the soul to happen through the soles!

 

When you feel finished, close the eyes, if the hands are clasped release, and pause for some deep breathing, with both feet rooted - a standing savasana. Draw the hands to heart center. Bow the head. And thank yourself for rockin’ a walkin’ meditation!

 

 

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