Give Walking Meditation a Try
It is safe to say that most of us are aware of the numerous benefits that come along with meditation. We know that it not only reduces stress but also controls anxiety, promotes emotional health, and enhances self-awareness. It keeps our mind in shape. So why do we often find something we know to be immensely beneficial to our health and well-being so difficult to do? If you have tried sitting meditation and felt frustrated, give walking meditation a try.
Walking meditation is the practice of mindful walking. It is a way to clear our minds with slow, deliberate, and reverent movement. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh describes mindful walking as a way to unite our body and our mind.
To walk in this way we have to notice each step. Each step made in mindfulness can bring us back to the here and the now. Go slowly. Mindfulness lights our way. We don’t rush. With each breath we may take just one step. We may have run all our life, but now we don’t have to run anymore. This is the time to stop running. To be grounded in the earth is to feel its solidity with each step and know that we are right where we are supposed to be.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Walking Meditation at Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center
When individuals or groups are on retreat, there is often time for silent reflection. Walking meditation can be a powerful tool for such reflection and Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center’s grounds are the ideal place for this type of practice.
Our outdoor 11-circuit prayer labyrinth is perfect for mindful walking. Set within a meditation garden, the labyrinth features a path that winds through the circular symbol, leading to the center. The path has no dead ends or false starts, but leads simply and quietly, eventually to the center and then back again.
The labyrinth offers guests a quiet, solitary, focused place to walk steadily and deliberately into a place of peace.
Our trails – five miles in all – serve as a tranquil and solidary backdrop for walking meditation. Minds are able to focus on breathing and slow steps while surrounded by the natural world. Guests feel a connectedness to the earth.
So next time you visit Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center make sure to take a walk and experience for yourself the benefits of meditative walking.