Monday, February 27, 2012

A Walking Meditation

The following is an article that I just had to share with my Blog readers.  It was written by a good friend, Amy Hanson.  After reading it you may want to check out her website and sign up to receive her Newsletter too.  ~ Bonnie

Each day I spend time in nature. For quite awhile this has been my form of meditation. Walking isn’t commonly considered a meditation, but it is if approached with mindfulness.

My first experience of being fully present in nature was when I was a child. I have very lucid memories of being in the forest and feeling a deep sense of connection. For me, it was as if colours, smells, sounds, tactile sensations and feelings were magnified. My heart would open and the pulse of peace would resonate throughout my whole body; a sense of being home.
As years went by, and the “busyness” of life stood in the way of the time I needed to spend in nature, I lost the ability to find this opening. Occasionally I would sit in a park or by the ocean and wonder where the magnificence had gone.

It is a long story of how I have renewed my relationship with Earth, but what I do today on my walks certainly contributes to the deepening and maintaining of that relationship.

First, I listen to my thoughts as I enter the forest. Quite often this is the time I am reviewing what has happened or what I think is going to happen in my life. I am usually in my past or in the future. What I notice at this time is that I am completely oblivious to my surroundings. .. you know, like when you drive home and don’t remember the drive! I consciously breathe; bringing me back to the moment I am experiencing right now. Having the oxygen clear my head, I slow my pace and look at my feet, focusing on the path, each small obstacle becoming the heart of my attention.

As my intention shifts, my world becomes clearer. There is a cacophony of greens shimmering from the different plants around me. Moss covered rocks, salal, sword ferns, evergreen trees and more reach out to baste my open glances. The smells on the trail shift as I walk through the different areas. Under the cover of evergreens, I smell the dampness of the shade, long without sunshine. As the trail descends to a small high-running creek, I inhale the dank odor of the rotting debris lying in the mud. Then an open field unfolds and dried grasses bend while being blown by fresh, cold air; its coldness stinging my cheeks. My feet sink into the boggy marsh, a faint squish with each step, soft and comfortable to feel. The birds, unseen, sing a spring song, even though it is early; their chirps a little higher pitched and gayer than a week before.

During the walk, I move in and out of presence. One moment, completely in the forest, the next in various circumstances affecting my life. I consciously and tenaciously bring myself back.

I become aware of my auric field surrounding me. A playfulness comes over me and I experiment with intention and how I can control the field. I draw the energy in, close to my body, sensing the containment I have created; the singleness of who I am in the universe. Then, I expand and like a blanket covering the entire forest, I feel as though the expansiveness of what I have created is a part of all there is.

My walk ends for the day and I feel filled with vigor. Clear minded and ready to face the challenges of life. I am grateful for what the walk has provided me.