The meandering path through the lush green of the woods served as a walking meditation for me. I was deeply immersed, steeped into the sweet nectar of the moment. Each of my senses took its turn to be heightened and fully appreciated.
The scenery transformed into high definition, becoming absolutely breathtaking as I began to gain elevation. The tops of trees looked like broccoli, the jagged, chestnut-colored cliffs smiled at me, and the benevolent blue sky was a boundless blanket of love.
I heard the cheery chirping of birds. I basked in the welcoming, social sound of dancing branches in the gentle wind. I listened intently to the subtle crunch of my shoes over small rocks and twigs.
The fresh scent of spring serenaded my sense of smell. I inhaled deeply with my eyes closed and was embraced by bouquets of blooming vegetation.
Despite the barrier of rubber between my feet and the ground, I felt connected with the Earth. My hand reached out and stroked the brown bark of a charming tree. It felt like an old friend.
The saliva in my mouth was infused with a touch of sweetness. There’s a certain purity that you taste when you’re out in nature, a purity that’s far more enlivening than the staleness of stagnant air indoors.
As the ascent became steeper, I inhaled grace and exhaled stress, expelling any lingering anxieties I was hanging onto. The higher elevation brought me to a higher consciousness. I felt as if I was transcending worldly struggle as I gazed out at the beauty of the mountainous landscape. A childlike, jovial laugh emerged from my essence as a placid breeze stroked my cheek…
That was an excerpt from my short story Falling into Forever. And I wrote that particular part because of how profound and enjoyable walking meditation is for me.
We often take life for granted. Many of us (myself included) tend to fall into monotonous routines and go through life on autopilot. Most of the time, we’re so consumed in looping thought patterns that we never really take a moment to stop and smell the roses (or, as you’ll soon find out, walk and smell the roses).
This is where meditation becomes a powerful tool. It enables us to fully experience the life we’re living.
“No meditation, no life. Know meditation, know life.” – Osho
Don’t get it corkscrewed… Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting cross-legged in silence for hours on end. It can come in many forms, like Pokemon. (I just can’t write a post without a Pokemon reference, huh?)
Meditation, in my opinion, is any moment in which your mind is still. The mind is either completely focused or blissfully empty, and you reside in the underlying essence of presence and peaceful awareness.
I find that I often get into a deeply meditative state while walking outside and connecting with nature. My mind becomes still and peaceful, my senses become fully heightened and there is a deep-seated feeling of bliss that permeates my entire being.
This state of being is accessible to anyone, especially through simple, moving meditations like this…
The Five Sense Walking Meditation:
While you’re walking alone outside, fully immerse your consciousness in each sense. Take a minute or two to focus on each of your senses individually, like so:
1. Sight – See the colors, shades, forms and shapes all around you. Notice the patterns in everything. See the subtle characteristics that you often overlook. See how vibrant the world really is. Look at everything as if seeing it for the first time.
2. Sound – Listen to the sounds of nature, the sound of your feet touching the ground, the sound of your breath. Notice the silence that all sounds come out of. Listen to everything as if hearing for the first time.
3. Smell – Be aware of all of the scents surrounding you. The subtle smells that you normally wouldn’t notice when you’re consumed with thought. Smell everything as if smelling for the first time.
4. Touch – Feel your entire body. Feel your clothing against your body. Feel your feet upon the Earth. Feel the wind caressing your skin and hair. Reach out and touch a tree; appreciate its beautiful texture. Touch, feel everything as if feeling for the first time.
5. Taste – Taste the saliva in your mouth. Be aware of your tongue and taste buds. If you have water with you, take a sip and let it pool in your mouth, immersing yourself in its flavor and texture. Taste, as if tasting for the first time.
Wrap up the meditation by allowing all five senses to integrate – Simply continue walking as you normally would. Each sense will feel as if it was dipped in an ocean of rejuvenating energy. You will feel like life has been upgraded to high definition. You will be in a state of intense awareness, yet deeply peaceful and radiating with overwhelming bliss.
Try it out for yourself. See, hear, smell, touch and taste like you never have before. Experience complete awareness. Wholeheartedly experience life.
– Stevie P!