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My experience of the practice of mindful walking

Posted Nov 01 2008 12:09pm

I was practising mindful walking for 10 minutes the other day and at the end of it I wrote some notes of my experience. My mindful walking practice was just to do 10 minutes of lap of the living room with an awareness of the feelings and sensations of walking. I would vary the speed during the walk to experience the different sensations and it was interesting just how quick the 10 minutes would go and the things I would recognize and the thoughts that came into my head. 

Typically the thoughts that came to mind were about the mindfulness course and about what we had gone through in previous sessions and what we might discuss about this practice in the next session. I could also feel the different textures beneath my bare feet as I moved between the rug and the carpet and noticed the difference in temperature where the bright sun shone in through the front room window in the mornings and the lower temperature in the shade by the patio doors. Balancing required thought which is odd because normally I walk without any attention to balance - it just happens.

For me one of the more interesting aspects of my practice was that each time I would get part way through the walk and look at the clock. If the clock showed I had done like 8 minutes of the 10 minutes practice I would feel an urge to stop. After all 2 minutes less of practice surely wouldn't make that much difference and who else would know I was skipping time? However, just recognizing the urge made me consider the options available to me and each time this urge occurred I chose to continue for the full 10 minutes when it would have been ever so easy to have just accepted the urge and stopped.

The mindful walking has been quite tricky for me and it's taken time to recognize the benefits but I am rather pleased how it has taught me to see the options available and choose the one that makes me happiest when before I might have just gone for the easiest one.

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