"If you have time to breathe you have time to meditate. You breathe when you walk. You breathe when you stand. You breathe when you lie down." – Ajahn Amaro
I recall hearing the late Wayne Dyer comment that our lives could be lived as a meditation. Simply stated that the goal is to be fully present in all that we do, to recognize that everything provides an opportunity to become more deeply aware. However, as simply as this can be stated, why is it so hard to do? There appears to me to be three reasons: distractions, distractions, and more distractions!
Interestingly enough, as distracted as our minds can become, they are limited in what they can focus on. Yet, when we develop a meditation practice we become better at managing our attention along with our impulses.
Is this easy?
When I started my meditation practice it was difficult to sit still as my thoughts ran wild. It took some time to realize that most of what was going on in my mind was really not of my own accord. I carried many beliefs taken on from others without any consideration to whether they were actually true for me. Thankfully, in time, I learned to weed through my entangled thoughts and am now able to find the peaceful space in between them...however, that doesn't mean I still don't have difficulty at times. The reason it's called a practice!
There is so much interference throughout our day as a result of our work, technology, kids, etc., that I cannot imagine a day without a meditation practice. Even on an off day, a regular practice helps us to manage our lives with more focus and intent.
Meditation doesn’t have to be a practice of sufferance – and not everyone takes to it in the same way, which is why a walking meditation may be a good way for one to begin. The benefits are just as promising as other forms of mediation; decreased anxiety and stress, increased calm and clarity, flashes of intuition, and nudges from one’s inner voice.
Of course you can practice walking meditation at home but the labyrinth can be a great tool to help you get started. If you are not sure where to find a labyrinth you can check the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator here.
When walking a labyrinth the process can be described in the stages of: Gratitude and Intention, Receiving, and Release, Return, and Review.
If you have not walked a labyrinth here are a few ideas of how to approach your walk. Keep in mind that there are as many ways to walk the labyrinth as there are styles. What is important is that it has meaning for you!
Gratitude and Intention:
Before entering the labyrinth take a few deep breaths, give thanks, and if so inclined create an intention for your walk – whether seeking an answer to something or for the process of letting go.
Receiving and Centering:
The center of the labyrinth represents our deepest self and is a reminder of what it is that we are to “be” as we walk back out into our worldly lives. As you get closer to the center, work on releasing more of your thoughts to allow for insight. Focusing on the path, or the movements of your body may help with this.
Release, Return, and Review:
As you walk out from the center, if you have been given insight, release your old beliefs, and consider if the insight and wisdom you have been given rings true for you. If you did not receive the insight you were seeking, work with your intention the next few days and you may find that wisdom still comes to you.
A walking meditation is an opportunity to connect our mental energy with our physical body to re-attune to our energy source. As an Astrologer and Lifestyle Coach, it becomes more and more apparent to me that what we are all generally seeking is a richer connection to our authentic self and our potentiality.
I hope this post helps you to see that there are many ways to develop a meditation practice if you so desire.
And in closing, I leave you with the words of Amit Ray:
“Meditate, Visualize, and Create your own reality and the universe will simply reflect back to you.”
© 2017 Cathi Curen