Walking Meditation Cadillac MI

For me—especially on a fine summer morning—a contemplative barefoot circuit of my dewy backyard can sound a whole lot more enticing than hunkering down on a cushion inside. And I seem not to be alone. Across the country, it’s getting easier to find opportunities to meditate in action.

Lama Tsongkhapa Center
(616) 349-1327
P.O. Box 163
Galesburg, MI
Specialty
Tibetan Gelugpa

Data Provided by:
Mu Mun Sa Temple - Zen Meditation Center of Michigan
(248) 650-2999
1370 John R. Road
Rochester Hills, MI
Specialty
Zen

Data Provided by:
Huron River Sangha
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialty
Zen

Data Provided by:
Clear Water Sangha
(231) 276-3825
3781 East Shore Drive
Grawn, MI
Specialty
Zen

Data Provided by:
Wat Lao Buddharam - Buddhayana Monastery
(313) 843-7085
2542 Junction Street
Hazel Park, MI
Specialty
Theravada Buddhist

Data Provided by:
Ikkyuji, One Moment Temple
(231) 929-4681
Traverse City, MI
Specialty
Zen - Soto

Data Provided by:
Deep Spring Center for Meditation and Spiritual Inquiry
(734) 477-5848
3003 Washtenaw Avenue, Suite 2
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialty
Vipassana

Data Provided by:
Traverse City Mindfulness Meditation Group
Traverse City, MI
Specialty
Vipassana

Data Provided by:
Dhammasala Forest Monastery
(517) 675-1010
14780 Beardslee Road
Perry, MI
Specialty
Theravada Buddhist

Data Provided by:
Vipassana Meditation - Michigan
(248) 952-6815
5744 Adams Road
Troy, MI
Specialty
Vipassana

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Walking Meditation

Provided by: 

By Susan Enfield Esrey

Meditation: It’s all about sitting still, inside a room, going inward. Right? Well, not necessarily. Buddhist tradition has long incorporated a more active technique known as walking meditation. Popularized in the West by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and other teachers, walking meditation often crops up at meditation retreats as a periodic (and often welcome) break from long sessions of sitting. (To learn more, see “Walking Your Mind,” on page 78.)

For me—especially on a fine summer morning—a contemplative barefoot circuit of my dewy backyard can sound a whole lot more enticing than hunkering down on a cushion inside. And I seem not to be alone. Across the country, it’s getting easier to find opportunities to meditate in action. Dude ranches, sea kayaking outfitters, and wellness retreats now offer programs that combine basic mindfulness practice with everything from backpacking and rock climbing to horseback riding and paddling.

And why not? A growing body of scientific research supports meditation’s physiological and psychological benefits, including boosting the immune system, helping lower blood pressure, and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. “Taking mindfulness outside, into the natural world, is another way of connecting the dots,” says Kurt Hoelting, who leads contemplative sea kayaking trips in Alaska. “It helps make it apparent not just intellectually, but also in our bodies, that this process of engagement with the present moment is an avenue to healing and deep restoration.”

For some, these activities are a way to explore mindfulness through a pastime they already know and love. Others have established a meditation practice but want to broaden their experience. For just about anyone, these “conscious” outings are a great way to slow down, savor silence (which helps increase awareness of what’s really going on, both inside and out), and reconnect with nature—along with one’s own mind, body, and spirit.
We’ve rounded up some of the best inner–outer adventures to get you thinking about life off the zafu.

Barefoot hiking
Sometimes, freeing your feet can be a revolutionary act. For walking meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh recommends ditching footwear. “You can feel the floor and connect with the earth more easily without shoes,” he writes in Walking Meditation (Sounds True, 2006). “The flow between you and Mother Earth becomes stronger. The longer you practice walking with this connection, the more your heart will be softened and opened, and the more you will feel nurtured, solid, and taken care of by the earth.”

Most “barefooters” don’t meditate in any sort of deliberate way, and chances are, they’ve never heard of Thich Nhat Hanh. But his words certainly would resonate clearly. “Going barefoot makes you feel more connected with nature, that you’re part of a bigger universe,” says Jim Guttmann, a member of Barefoot Hikers of Minnesota, an informal group that gathers for regular boot-free rambles.

Author: Susan Enfield Esrey

Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions