I did it in my apartment, and found that in five minutes I just made it from one end of my apartment to the other, and back. I have a small apartment! So that gives you an idea of how slowly I was walking.
I noticed my mind wandering numerous times, mostly with “to do” items. The feeling in my feet was delicious. A warm cozy feeling, in warm socks and slippers. Walking on the carpet added to the feeling of coziness. Some people find they almost lose balance when walking that slowly, and I did notice my gait and balance felt much different than usual. I felt the alignment of the bones in my legs and hips and ankles in a different way than I’m usually aware of. A sense of the weight of my body and how the bones move to support it.
The cushy feeling in my feet is was most delightful. It felt like the earth was a resilient force, receiving and yielding then slightly pushing back. Of course my mind wanted to get involved with theories about connecting with the earth, and how this is a step on the path to connecting with the entire universe. But the actual act of walking has a simple feeling that really felt innocent and delightful.
Now, after the meditation as I write this, I notice my feet feel more open, and I can sense the earth’s energy entering my feet through the soles, where they touch the floor. It seems like a white light entering my body. Wow, the vastness of the earth as a being feels like a huge energy, and as I sense the energy through my feet I start to notice that the energy field of the earth is all around my body too.
This totally blows away my notion of being a small separate self that is completely cut off from everything else and unsupported in the world. My body feels like a permeable spacious entity that is connected with the space and energy around it, so that the energy of the vast earth is through me as well as around me, and I feel a gentle humour and delight in the quality of the vast energy. As I sense into the quality of the energy, my mind activity stills, and I enter into the unknown of what is arising. Blissfulness, pleasure, but there isn’t the usual sense of “I” to experience it.
The usual I has faded more into the background, but I notice she has some fear about being with the unknown. I am part of a much bigger awareness, and my usual I wants to go back to the usual activities of my egoic mind. What will this bigger awareness require of me? What is happening in it? What is it? The collective energy of my neighbourhood? I hear the birds and cars outside, and someone hammering. There is peace in this vastness. An imperturbability, that seems to be reminding me of its truth. The vastness informs me that I can be aware of that imperturbable peace as I deal with a problem I’ve been irritated by since yesterday, that my egoic mind finds annoying. And curiousity can be there too. Hmm, why is this person I’m annoyed with behaving this way, and what is arising out of the vastness through their actions? What boundless generosity the universe has, to not only make me feel supported as part of something much larger than myself, but to also help me with a very minor problem in my life!
So, I am sure your experience of the walking meditation might be different than this. I have had a daily meditation practice pretty steadily for about 10 years, and I use a practice called inquiry to notice my experience and follow it into the depths and breadth of reality. Plus Saturday morning relaxation, tea, and chocolate allow me to shift out of my usual awareness and pay attention to a bigger reality in a way I don’t usually take the time to do.
I invite you to share what your experience was of the walking meditation, and what you were aware of at the end of the meditation. If you don’t want to share it on this blog, maybe you’d like to write about it in your journal or tell a friend what you noticed. I invite you to use this practice every day this week, for 5 or 10 minutes. Keep seeing what you notice. It’s never the same day twice! (Except in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, but that’s another story!)