I took some time this afternoon to sit in the sunshine and read Headspace by Andy Puddicombe. Just before I planned to pack up for the day I read the section entitled ‘Walking Meditation’ and so put into play the exercise he set out within. Here is the online version of the exercise in case of interest. In essence, as you begin to walk, simply notice how the body feels. Begin observing what you see going on around you then turn your attention to sounds and smells. Gently shift your attention to the sensation of movement in the body and create awareness around each of your senses.
“As I walked the three minute journey across the field and back to my house I paid attention to the senses and their interaction with the world around me.
My rucksack on my back, comfortable for once without my drink bottle digging into the base of my spine as usually happens when I pack it in a rush.
My arms swinging loosely by my side, my right arm much more so than my left which was obstructed by the blanket I had tucked under my left backpack strap.
Mindful of my feet as my little toes tried their best to wriggle out from the side of my cheap £4 Primark sandals, something I would usually have irritated me but in this instance made me smile.
As I crossed the halfway point of the field, the texture of the grass changed. Where it had been cut the loose dried grass gathered between the soles of my feet and my sandals and I shook them lightly as I walked.
I noticed I sped up as I passed a group of people being loud and trying to leapfrog each other, I’m not sure why the hurry was necessary.
As I left the field and onto the tarmac, the sounds changed as did the softness of my step. I was under the cover of trees and the temperature plummeted dramatically as I was out at the sunlight. Knowing I was only a few moments away from my back door I didn’t put my zip top up on but appreciated the change in temperature and the goosebumps on my skin.
At this point I smiled to myself, I began thinking that maybe i’d write this up as a blog post when I arrived home and my thoughts changed tense, as if recounting my journey that had not yet been. Catching my mind wandering, I pulled it back, and for a few final moments appreciated the backs of the houses that I knew so well from the front yet rarely saw in reverse."
Mindfulness of the journey, one which can be cultivated by us all at any opportunity.
When will you next take a walk into mindfulness?
Small side note: this photo wasn't of my actual journey today- my phone had died by that point and so this was one taken on a walk a few days ago- just so you know ;-)
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