Awareness Practices

Walking Around, Open-Eyed Compassion Meditation

Walking around or open-eyed meditation can be done anywhere/anytime. It is a simple and playful way to return to your moment to moment experience. 

Compassion Practices from Sally Kempton: 

  • “Whenever you think of it, make a point of breathing in compassion and breathing compassion out into the environment. Notice the energy that is generated when you do this. Recognize that compassion is a natural energy in the universe. You don’t have to create or invent it.”
  • “When you feel stressed, anxious, worried, angry, or annoyed, or when you notice that you’re not at your best, ask yourself ‘What would compassion do at this moment?’ How does your behavior change?”
Awareness Practices

Walking Meditation

Although nature offers support in developing the skill of inhabiting your body, walking meditation is beneficial whether you’re in your living room, in an urban green space, on the beach, or in the woods. You can practice 5 minutes or longer. The focus is not the environment or how long you practice but the opportunity to experience inhabiting and relaxing your body while standing still or moving. 

– Stand in a relaxed and steady upright posture such as Tadasana (Mountain). Rest your hands one on top of the other, cradling your navel. Allow your breath to be natural. Attune to the waves of inhalation and exhalation as well as the restful pauses at the top of the inhalation and bottom of the exhalation, like the tides of the ocean. You might visualize the tides moving in and out. This might be sufficient to settle your body, or you could continue on. 

– Then tune into your feet. Feel that you are inside your feet. Feel that there is no separation between you and the ground.

– Feel that you are inside your whole body. Find the space outside your body. Experience that the space inside and outside your body is the same continuous space.

– Bring your focus down to the earth. Experience that the space that pervades you also pervades the earth.

– Bring your focus up to the sky. Experience that the space that pervades you also pervades the sky. 

– Allow your breath to flow naturally, soften your gaze forward and down, hands gently cradling your navel, and tune into your feet again. Maintaining a slow pace, take a step forward with your right foot. Place your foot on the ground sequentially, heel, ball of foot, then toes, as your left heel, ball, then toes, lift for your next step. 

– Continue walking in a linear pattern, like on a trail, or in a circle around a room or on a labyrinth, noticing when your focus leaves your feet. Practice gently bringing your focus back to your feet and the rhythm of your breath. 

– Finish standing for several cycles of breath in a relaxed and steady upright posture. Notice how your body feels.