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Walking, the Stand Up Meditation

Written by Pat Sullivan

Many people find it easier to meditate while walking than sitting. Because walking meditationswalking the stand up meditation involve the body, they naturally enliven the spirit. Walking deepens the breath. Feelings that are normally repressed can burst into awareness. Each footstep grounds you a bit more into your real self and connects you a little more with the world around you.

Your creative juices flow. You become more receptive to new insights from within and without. You see new perspectives and perhaps return home with a new vision for your life and work.
Walking meditations can begin any time, any place , even while you're rushing to an appointment. When you take a second to be conscious of your steps, it's easier to ground yourself in the purpose of what you are doing.

Being conscious makes you more focused and less stressed, which makes it easier to sort out what's essential from what's not. One easy way to begin walking meditation is to start with a theme, like gratefulness or a blessing. As you walk, notice what draws your attention.

It might be an unusual door or a child's abandoned sand bucket. Then let your imagination speak. Do you need to protect yourself by literally closing the door to an unhealthy relationship or make a more hospitable opening where a healthier relationship can grow?

Does the sand bucket remind you how you feel abandoned and unappreciated? Or are you treating this other person as carelessly as an unknown child has treated a toy?

Would doing something simple in a neutral setting (like walking on the beach) help heal this relationship? A variation is to carry a stone on your walk. Reflect on your case against the other person, and let your negative feelings or pain flow into the stone. When you're ready, place the stone lovingly in the earth as a sign of forgiveness, hope, and "letting go, letting God." Then walk deliberately toward a healthier relationship.

 
Photographer: Paul Vlaar

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