Tag Archive: walking meditation


There are two primary sanctuaries we can find solace and refuge in… Places that will invigorate the inner-being and connect us more with our True Nature.

The first is our mind. Through meditation and mindfulness there is this amazing, boundless temple within the mind that can create positive energy and contemplate wisdom. Between thoughts are the silent gaps of mindfulness. We have discussed these gaps between thoughts before and it is within these gaps that our True Nature and heart wish wells. The more you meditate the longer you will stretch those gaps between thoughts. The more mindful you become, the less control your ego and false-self will have on your daily thoughts, actions and reactions. Let your mind be your refuge, your temple, your place of empowerment. Instead of being a slave to the ego, let your mind be your church; a conduit to your True Nature within…

Head and heart

Nature is our second sanctuary. The raw unadulterated outdoors is a vortex of positive energy. I have never been in a bad mood after a walk through the forest. Places of natural beauty hold special metaphysical interest. We all need to find a special place in nature (especially near our home) where we can draw energy from. Whether it is in your backyard (for you lucky few) or simply steps away (or a quick drive away); I think it is important to find that special place where you can escape and refuel your body and mind. Forget the vacations that come once a year if we are fortunate enough; find that escape near your home where you can go and decompress; if only for a few minutes. Find that spot and find your center! From my experience, the Universe in all its intricacies handles the rest – if only for a moment.

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…and that moment is enough to relax, re-energize and dabble in Self-Discovery….

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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springAs I have stated many times, you can meditate anytime and anywhere. I can’t clarify this enough: Meditation is any type of mindfulness where you are centering your energy and thoughts in the present. This means you are not thinking about the past or the future; your fears and or your fantasies. It means you are not letting your mind run rampant with random thought trails. Instead, you are rooted completely in the present moment. What is happening right now…? and now… and now…? That is meditation and yes it can be that simple. It’s not that simple though is it? Keeping your thoughts centered in the present takes continued diligence and perseverance. Walking meditations (or even bike riding meditations) are a great way to remain centered in the moment while being mobile and aware of outside stimulus. The biggest difference between a formal sitting meditation session and a walking meditation is that your eyes obviously need to be open while walking and you are also taking in outside stimulus whereas in a formal sit down meditation you are taking in and processing mostly inside stimulus.

A sitting meditation allows you to completely settle into mind and body connecting the out breath with energy and awareness. It allows you to stretch those gaps between thoughts so that inner wisdom can well from within. A walking meditation draws from the same principles of inner wisdom but also incorporates the outside world. Especially in nature, there is a blend of inner tranquility with the tranquility and energy of our natural outside environment. Yes, you have to watch where you are going so you do not trip or run into something; but there is the added mindfulness of outside stimulus like wind and sun against your face, perhaps bare feet in the sand or grass; visual interest of light glistening off of dew in the morning or a vibrant sunset to the west. There is an added benefit to being fully present with mind and body and also connected to the environment around you. A bridge is crossed between inward and outward qualities of mindfulness which grounds you to your physical environment.

Make time to take a walk or bike ride in a local nature preserve or park, preferably away from scores of people. Less people can mean fewer distractions. Get lost in nature and your outside environment. Look up and be aware of the sky. Look down and be aware of the detail before you. Look out over the horizon and value the space around you and within you. Find silence in nature and your natural environment. Instead of random thoughts driving your mind, let your outer and inner environment drive the experience. Every time your thoughts stray, refocus on an element of nature.

                          Daily Life Practice

bikeDuring a walking meditation fears, worries and anxieties can surface as errant thoughts draw your attention away from the present. These might be just passive fears or anxieties but these wayward thoughts are taking your awareness away from the present. This is totally normal and some sessions will be more challenging than others. Thoughts may include how you are going to pay the rent or mortgage next month. Maybe you need new tires on the car. Maybe you forgot to mail that thank you letter to your friend. Yes, these are all important things but not in this moment. Not right now. Such worries will simply repeat themselves needlessly in your mind. Be mindful of unnecessary thoughts replaying in your mind. While outside, try this simple daily life practice during any meditative respite marred by thoughts of worry and anxiety: As a negative or worrisome thought arises in the brain visually imagine yourself pinching the thought with your fingers and actually placing it on a tree in the far off distance. I know, a bit strange but give it a try. That rent or mortgage is not going to get paid right now. Get creative, and place that concern on the peak of a house in the distance. Put the worry of future car repairs on that car moving away from you in the distance. Those unfinished tasks that you will undoubtedly complete later; attach to that cloud floating high above your head. Be mindful that there is so much space inward and outward. Place those worries, anxieties and fears away from you. These are symbolic gestures that will immediately create breathing space within your environment. See the space around you and visualize the space within you. Notice how when you make space for a worry it dissolves temporarily. Where did it go? Remember you can control your own space and thus your own stress levels. Be mindful that you are always in control and your only focus right now is the present; thus stretching those gaps between thoughts to allow inner wisdom to well from your True Nature.

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

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John C. Bader on Twitter

Welcome to the One Week Responsive Universe Challenge – as seen on MindBodyGreen!

“If you are new to practice (meditation) it’s important to realize that simply to sit on that cushion for fifteen minutes is a victory”.

–          Charlotte Joko Beck

If you are having a difficult time connecting to meditation you are not alone. Have you tried to meditate only to end up frustrated and more agitated than when you started? It’s okay.

The first step in meditation is to simply be aware – mindful of all those thoughts careening through your head…. Most of the time we just let thoughts run ramped, simply unaware. Once you stop and actually focus on the steady stream of thoughts you realize it is a pretty busy place up there in the mind. No wonder some of us have a hard time falling asleep.

Where do thoughts arise from? Can you pin point it? Where do they go? Does the mind have a border or perimeter? Meditation only asks for mindfulness – nothing more…

What really is meditation? Meditation is the conscious focus of the present. What is happening right now? That is meditation… When we let our thoughts run ramped we are replaying tapes of fear and fantasy, past and future – the director of this mental function is your ego. When you root your mind in the present you are creating gaps between those thoughts of fear and fantasy, past and future. Your ego is powerless. You are living in the moment; present, authentic and connected to your True Nature – that is meditation: The focus is on what is happening right now – the experience at hand and all the feelings and emotions associated with that moment… and the next moment… and the next moment….

Did you know you can meditate anytime and anywhere?

I do bike riding meditations all the time. Walking meditations are great too because any meditation that includes exercise is fantastic! I have this beautiful forest preserve near my home with miles of trails that traverse ponds, tree tunnels, marshes and wild flower fields – no man made intervention, few people, lots of birds and sometimes perfect clouds above. As I ride, I connect to what is around me and not the continuous thoughts in my head. As I ride I breathe in the sweet air, notice the intricacies and beauty of nature and in doing so; stretch those gaps in my mind between aimless thoughts. Within those authentic gaps is this sublime connection to energy, relaxation, reverence and bliss. Most times I will ride between 10-17 miles which can take up to 2 hours. Along the way I will stop and simply settle into the moment around me. My thoughts slow, inspiration and awareness is fine-tuned and there is this heartfelt feeling that I am evolving in the right direction.

That is meditation….

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

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