Walking Meditation with Gratitude
Upasika Kee Nanayon (1901-1978) was a famous laywoman on the spiritual path of Buddhism. She noted some very powerful suggestions on how to improve walking meditation in nature. I have added a few more ideas of my own and from others. See the informative list below.
- Remain present-minded when you walk in natural surroundings Explore your mind in its natural state, but mainly let go of desire and story-lines.
- Work on discovering your middle way while walking in nature. Be still with an observing but empty mind. Other than your gratitude to be able to walk as well as the beauty of natural settings, work on reducing value-based mind objects. Let go of “good” and “bad.” Just be in the bliss of it all, and appreciate it all.
- As you move through the woods, let go of the “tangled yarn” (The Buddha) of the mind’s wanting, desiring, craving, and clinging. Observe fully, and Just be there now!
- Touch gently on personal gratitude for being there now in this cherished reality. Just notice and appreciate the utter radiance of life, including your own.
- As you enter a deeper “felt-sense” of respite and tranquility, notice the gentle arising and falling of your own consciousness. Just inhale and exhale slowly and deeply.
- Allow transformational experience to occur in this transitional space of the Tao in nature. Do not seek it, just allow it.
- If/when disturbing thoughts, memories, images, emotions, or sensations arise – realize this is simply your brain-mind-heart-body system reminding you to take care of unfinished business in your suffering. Use cognitive re-framing and restructuring to mend your mood, and quite literally count your blessings large and small.
- Now find a beautiful place to sit to reflect and contemplate. Take out your “happiness journal” (Quintiliani) and prepare to write a few entries. Gently contemplate what do you have right now to be grateful for. Use all your senses to reconnect with these realizations and experiences. Now it is time to write in your journal. Take your sweet time. Enjoy it all! (Lara Tupper)
- Enjoy every bit of your walking meditation in nature with journaling. Notice your mood and the sensations of inner joy.
Nanayon, Upasika Kee (2005). (Trans. T. Bhikkhu). Pure and Simple. Somerville, MA: Wisdom.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
Author of Mindful Happiness