Good Morning to you, dear friends,
With today’s hectic lifestyle and rat race, most people are often stressed out or not in good health. However, the good news is now we also have available to us many alternative methods of handling these problems. Please note that these are supplementary to visiting the doctor.
I would like to start off some of the methods that I use with a simple walking meditation exercise to de-stress and to improve our mindfulness. Friends here can also reply here with their favourite “therapy” for stress and health here.
This is a simple meditation exercise to do – all you need is at least 10 minutes of your day and space to walk – about 15 – 20 steps or so. Here, we will need to use our 6 senses such as our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin and mind.
1) To start, stand in a relaxed position with your hands clasped together gently either in front or behind your body.
2) Look down to the ground about 5 – 6 ft in front of you, without focusing your eyesight on anything there. Just relax your eyes.
3) Start walking by lifting one leg to take the first step – if it is the right leg, say in your mind, “Right”. If it is your left leg, then say mentally, “Left”.
So, as you are walking at a relaxed and slow pace as if you are taking a stroll, your mind will be registering “Right”, “Left”, “Right”, “Left”……and so forth.
4) Hehe, ….now here comes the tricky part – somewhere during your walking, your mind will surely register something else with your other senses. When that happens, you stop walking and your mind will acknowledge your next sense feeling.
For example, while walking suddenly you smell your neighbour’s barbequed steaks, then you stop walking and in your mind, you will say “Smelling, smelling”. Once the smell goes away, gently bring your focus back to your feet and then continue walking with your mind back to “Right”, “Left.”
Suddenly, your neighbour’s dog barks…..again you stop in your tracks…and switch your mind to your other sense organ, your ears, and your mind will now say “Hearing, Hearing”. Then, you continue with your walking again.
5) When you have reached the end of your walking path, you stop and slowly turn around and continue walking back the way you came. Repeat this for at least 10 minutes. For me, I usually do around 30 minutes if I have the time.
So, in your mind there will be the acknowledgement of the respective stimuli with words like –
***** for walking ===> say mentally :- Right, Left, Right,…
***** for hearing ===> Hearing, Hearing
***** for the skin ===> Feeling, Feeling (e.g. your skin itches)
***** for the tongue ===> Tasting, Tasting (e.g. when you swallow saliva)
***** for the eyes ===> Seeing, Seeing (e.g. you saw a rat run across in front of you)
***** For the thoughts that come into your mind ===> Thinking, Thinking
The most important point is for the mind to focus on one thing at a time because in today’s hectic world, our mind has become too used to multi-tasking, which is in actual sense overloading our mind.
So, this is one way of relaxing our mind. Also, when we are focusing on the present sense or stimulus at hand, we are actually being in the present moment – which means that we are not thinking about the past nor the future and not our numerous problems. So, it is a good getaway for our mind indeed!
Walking meditation is easier to do than the sitting one because its actions are more coarse, while it may be difficult for some to sit too long for meditation due to the overly fleeting and active mind. This way, the mind is more focused.
Try this and see for yourself…in a way, it is like therapy for your mind. As you progress further, you will realise that with your deeper mindfulness practised ===> your mind will be calmer, you will be more in control of your actions and feelings, and you are more focused with your work.
Happy walking, everyone!
Healthy Blessings, Joy and Light,