Real Happiness Week Two: Mindfulness of the Body | Day Eight: Walking Meditation

 

As we move on to Week Two in the Real Happiness Challenge, we are now working with mindfulness of the body.

Sharon tells us, Mindfulness, also called wise attention, helps us see what we’re adding to our experiences, not only during meditation sessions but also elsewhere. We’ll spend this week in the world of touch sensations is one of the best places for us to be able to see the difference between what is actually arising, and what we are making of it.

Today, we emphasize Walking Meditation.

Find a place to walk where you have about ten paces in front of you. For this meditation you are going to walk about ten paces and then turn around. You will keep walking back and forth like this for the remainder of the time.

Allow your eyes to open and keeping a soft gaze on the floor you can begin walking. Try to walk as slowly as possible and notice the feeling of your feet as they move through space. You might notice the feeling of your foot as it touches the ground, then the feeling as you shift your weight, and the feeling of your foot lifting.

If it is helpful for you, you can label these components in your mind. You might say to yourself “place, shift, lift. Place, shift, lift”. The goal is just to focus on the feeling of your feet. When the mind wanders come back to feeling your feet as you walk.

We can also be in touch with the sensations in the body as well as our surroundings with what we see and hear. Inside you can walk more slowly; outside you can walk at a normal pace. What sensations do you notice as you walk?

Recommended reading for Week Two of the Challenge is pages 81 – 90 and pages 105 – 108 in the second edition of the book, “Real Happiness”.

 

Sharon’s Journal Prompt for this week is “Subtle Sensation.”

Bring your attention to your hands. Notice that the direct experience you have is not of “hand,” it’s of different sensations—pulsing, throbbing, warmth, coolness. You don’t have to name these things, but feel them. You can also notice that moving into the world of direct sensations brings us to see constant change. Perhaps we would see this as just a hand in the context of “yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” But in the realm of “pressure, vibration, warmth, coolness,” everything is constantly arising and passing away. Go back and forth between experiencing your hands through a conceptual framework and as a conduit of direct sensation and write down your experience of each.

In my Everyday Mindfulness class today, I spoke about sensations in meditation, which actually is tomorrow’s practice in our Real Happiness Challenge. In the class today as I taught, I was also noticing sensations within my shoulder as I can experience. I noted it as stretching, stabbing, throbbing, pulling and then released them. The sensations changed over time even with no sensation at all. I have to be mindful of my reaction and judgment of the pain that I experience. I’ve had the challenge of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome officially for two years now. My thoughts can go into “This will be with me forever,” and “Why did this happen to begin with?” and “I’m tired of dealing with this.” But in truth the pain isn’t always there. Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes a little stronger and sometimes not at all. I have to remember in all what Mindfulness is: a nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment. Also that, pain is not permanent as it is always shifting and changing.

Let me know how this week goes for you and with each practice that I post. You can join me in my mindfulness classes or if you would you like personal meditation instruction, I am happy to assist you through these practices. Contact me.

 

Recommended reading for Week Two of the Challenge is pages 81 – 90 and pages 105 – 108 in the second edition of the book, “Real Happiness”.

 

 

 

 

 

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