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To practice ‘awareness walking’ bring awareness to walking wherever you find yourself. Take notice of your breathing. Are you taking short, shallow breaths without even knowing it?
If so, take several deep breaths and center yourself in your body and in the present moment. Appreciate the wonderful body you have and the blessing of being able to walk.
Notice your surroundings. What season is it? Take a few minutes to listen to the noises around you. Feel the wind, sun, fog, rain or snow on your face.
Look at the people, animals, birds, sky, trees, and buildings around you. Breathe in and out and realize that you are an integral part of the environment.
Pay attention to your body. Are you holding tension in your shoulders, neck, solar plexus, lower back, or legs? Breathe into any areas where you are feeling tension and let it drain into the Earth.
Next, pay attention to your posture. Are you standing straight and tall or slouching? Walk in a way that is comfortable for you with your body loose and uplifted.
Walk with dignity and confidence, one foot in front of the other and pay attention to the experience of movement. You can walk mindfully anywhere, along a sidewalk, walking your dog, in the mall, along the hallways at work.
You simply remind yourself to be in this moment, taking each step as it comes.
Some people find it helpful to repeat a mantra (mantras are repetition of sacred words in order to bring focus to your mind). You can also use a variation on the walking mantra by counting your breaths.
Walk more slowly than you usually do and count how many steps it takes for your intake of breath and how many steps for your exhale.
In this type of meditation, your attention is focused on both your steps and your breathing bringing together a wonderful balance of peacefulness and awareness.
Take some time to reflect on your experience when you return home. Five or ten minutes brings closure to your walk and provides an opportunity to make the transition from this ‘place of peace’ to ordinary day-to-day activities.
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