As you might have read on IG, I recently returned from a silent weekend retreat where I enjoyed a few mindful walks. These turned out to be rather extraordinary experiences, which I’d love to share with you in today’s post.
When do we really walk with our entire awareness?
Probably not when we’re trying to find your way through the supermarket, or when we’re rushing to the bus stop. And when we finally do manage to go out for a proper walk, we’re often so distracted by our inner dialogue (that voice that keeps reminding you of all the things you still haven’t ticked off your to do-list) that we do not even notice our surroundings.
Mindful walking is nothing more, or less, than walking with our entire awareness. During these walks, focus is often brought to the breath, or the steps that are taken.
The calm and inner peace I received from the meditations I’d done during the day, offered a bridge to approaching my daily walks more mindfully. Before I went out, I took a moment to ease into the surroundings; I noticed the temperature of the air, the ground under my feet, and how I felt. Bringing my awareness to my bodily sensations, which I often prefer to do than focusing on the breath, I started walking.
Being aware of the sensations in your body, the outdoor experience transformed into something out of the ordinary. Instead of noticing every individual element as something separate, they all merged into one connected whole.
I heard and saw the wind rush through the tops of the trees. Leaves blown into spirals over the fields that were muddy from the rain. Bird were singing close by, in harmony with the bells from the Abbey I heard in the distance. The wind was blowing through my hair, whilst I felt the heat of the sun touch my skin.
All these things together created a moment, followed by another, and another one.
Aware of each moment, I walked on… as a smiling, silent witness.