One reason to practice mindfulness is to simplify: Modern life is dynamic and often provides so much sensory input and distraction that it can be helpful to find some quiet and focus. Seated meditation is one obvious way to do this: Find a place to sit, close your eyes and focus on something basic and body-centered, such as the breath. At some point, though, we need to get up. How do you maintain presence in the more demanding environment of social interactions, work deadlines and the sometimes craziness of family life?
Of all the practices we teach during the Search Inside Yourself program, mindful walking is one that seems to stick the most. Many people who take the course tell me they’ve enjoyed making mindful walking a regular part of their lives. I like to think of mindful walking as a bridge practice that balances between meditation and our day-to-day lives.
In the SIY course, we often teach a classic method of walking meditation, which involves choosing a clear space to walk 10 or 15 steps, then walking slowly with awareness, focusing on the sensation of feet contacting the ground (“contact, contact, contact…”). […]