As I wrapped up my presentation, one of the participants approached me. “You know that walking meditation we learned last week? It literally saved me. I was dealing with such a difficult time that I just wanted to curl up on the floor and shut out the world. But I needed to function. I stopped everything I was doing and just put one foot in front of the other and focused on the feeling of my feet connecting with the ground.”
Wow. The power of a practice as simple as a walking meditation “saved” her. And the wonderful part of a walking meditation is that it’s easily accessible no matter where you are — physically or emotionally.
Welcome to week seven of “10 Weeks of Mindfulness at Work” where you’ll discover simple tips and techniques to enrich your day with mindfulness. I hope you find inspiration from this series!
– Practice a walking meditation anywhere and anytime
You can practice a walking meditation most anywhere and anytime. When I presented a program at Marriott Corporate Headquarters, I recommended practicing a walking meditation for the one minute it took employees to walk under the long canopy leading from the parking lot to the main office.
Look for opportunities to practice. Try a walking meditation when you walk to the water cooler, the coffee machine, the rest room, down the hall, up the stairs and so on. You can practice a walking meditation anytime you walk, whether for two steps or two miles.
– How to practice
Simply rest your attention on the movements of your legs and feet as you walk. You can be practice indoors or outdoors, for just a few steps or for as long as you’d like.
Lift your right leg to take a step, and silently say to yourself “lifting.” Move your right leg forward, and silently say to yourself “moving.” Place your right foot down on the ground, and silently say to yourself “placing.” As you shift the weight onto your right foot, silently say to yourself “shifting.” Begin the process again with the left foot: lifting, moving, placing, shifting.
Continue silently repeating these words to yourself with each step. Any time your attention wanders, gently refocus on the words and the movements of your body.
– A simple phrase to help you remember
The phrase “let my peace show” may help you remember these instructions, since the first letter of each of these words corresponds with “lifting, moving, placing and shifting.”
WEEK SEVEN PRACTICE SUGGESTION: Try a walking meditation — even for just a few steps.
**Celebrating a 10th Anniversary
Be on the lookout for a 99¢ Kindle promotion in July to celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind,” a step-by-step book for beginning meditators. Available in Kindle, paperback and audiobook.