Thursday, 22 October 2015

Autumn walking meditation

Autumn is a great time to do a walking meditation. Meditation does not always need to be on a meditation cushion in a cross-legged position! It's all about bringing your awareness to the present, letting go of any worries about the past or anxiety about the future. I would recommend a woodland walk in the northern hemisphere - there is so much to see at this time of year. Practice your walking meditation when you are not time pressured so that you can take time to develop an awareness of your surroundings.

Start your walking meditation by standing still at the start of the walk. Feel your connection to the earth. Let your awareness drift through your body just noticing how you feel in each part of your body and try to relax each part. Now become aware of your thoughts and emotions. Let go of thoughts and emotions that do not serve you with each breath out so that when you start walking you have a calm mind.  

Walk at a slow pace to allow you time to take in your surroundings and how truly beautiful the season is. Notice the coolness of the air. 

Notice the leaves changing colour on the trees - the browns, yellows and reds. Become aware of the leaves that have already fallen - the wonderful swishing sound they make under your feet- and allow yourself to kick the leaves like you did as a child. Feel as carefree as you did back then. Are the trees adorned with berries, acorns, pine cones or conkers? Marvel at the bounty provided by Mother Nature for the wildlife - the birds and squirrels etc who live in the woodland.  Maybe you will see a squirrel? Look for evidence of their presence - tree stumps with the remains of pine cones (a squirrel dinner table?). Look out for birds and listen to their songs. Robins especially are very curious and will often come quite near to have a look at you.  

Notice the fungi growing - bracket fungi on the trees, coral spot fungi on rotting tree trunks, and many other fungi growing on the ground. Can you smell the fungi? Depending on the time of day, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of deer.  

At the end of your walking meditation how do you feel? Calm, connected with all of nature?

Each season has its own beauty so don't just practice walking meditation in autumn. By 
practicing a walking meditation throughout the year you will feel connected to the rhythms of the earth, which brings it's own special peace.

Janet x

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