Outdoor Play Party – Outdoor Walking Meditation

by Jen in outdoor play,outdoor play party,walking meditation

Welcome to the Outdoor Play Party. We’re really looking forward to seeing how everyone has been playing outside. This past week it has been hard for the girls and I to get outside. My eldest daughter has been sick all week. Our normal outdoor routine has been completely thrown off. Not being able to spend time outside has reminded me how important the outdoors is not just for my kids, but for me too. My regular daily walks are an opportunity to find some peace. My lack of walking this week got me thinking about how much I rely on the power of walking meditation. Most people are familiar with the concept of meditation, but have you ever heard of walking meditation?

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a Buddhist retreat. The retreat was an entire day of no speaking, only listening, meditating and learning from a monk. During the day we learned about various ways to meditate; sitting, laying down, standing and walking meditation. The monk spoke of how nowadays when people go for a “walk in the park” they are usually listening to an iPod or talking on the phone. We are outdoors, in nature, but we are cut off from nature…we don’t let it in. However, if we put away the music and focus on our walking we can find peace.If you would like to try walking meditation here are a few tips for getting started…by no means am I a meditation expert. First, you need to find a place to walk that is not too challenging, you don’t want to be focusing on trying not to trip. Next, you need to find a 20 to 30 minute pocket of time for this meditation. Once walking, look at your feet or, close your eyes slightly, or close your eyes completely. Shift your wandering mind to focus on your legs and your feet. What are the muscles in your legs doing? What does it feel like for your feet to move? What does the ground feel like under your feet? As your mind begins to wander away to thoughts about all the things you have to do that day, bring your mind back by focusing on your alternating steps. Meditation is all about being in the moment, shifting your mind’s focus to your body and away from the noise in your mind. After 20 minutes of this shift in focus you will find that you feel refreshed and at ease. It might seem difficult in the beginning, but if you give it a try it will get easier each time.

Walking meditation isn’t something I can do when I am out with the dog. I also cannot do this when the kids and I are rushing to swim class. Nope, I have to find a time to be outdoors on my own. I know this is hard…but it is so worth it. Children need to connect with nature and so do adults. Now that my girls are getting older, my intention is to introduce walking meditation to them. I know that it brings me closer to myself and closer to nature and I hope it will do the same for my girls. Have you ever tried walking meditation? (to learn more about walking meditation please check out this article from WildMind.org)
Now, on with the party. The last Outdoor Play Party was filled with lots of folks exploring the great outdoors. There were a couple of posts that introduced me to activities that will be on my spring and summer to-do lists.
1. Train Up A Child taught us how to make a kite.
2. For the Children created art, inspired by nature.
3. Check out the outdoor science lab from Caution! Twins at Play
So many fabulous outdoor activities and stories linked at the last outdoor play party. If you were featured this week, go ahead and grab our “Featured at the Outdoor Play Party” button for your site. Things are changing at the Outdoor Play Party. The bad news is that Karen at Flights of Whimsy will no longer be co-hosting the Outdoor Play Party. We’re sad to lose Flights of Whimsy as a partner, but we know Karen will go on promoting and enjoying outdoor play. The good news is that we are welcoming a new co-host..Erin from The Usual Mayhem. The Usual Mayhem is quite familiar with the OPP…Erin has linked up many posts in the past. Springtime is a great time for change and growth, so here we go changing and growing.Now it’s time to link up your outdoor play activities. Please grab our button and place it in your site’s side bar, or add a link back to our party. We will happily share your post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. By contributing your post to this linky party you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if you are featured.

Looking for more ways to connect with your kids, why not follow Kitchen Counter Chronicles on Facebook, Pinterest, Google + and Twitter.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Candace April 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

This I *might* be able to do because it requires movement. Any meditation that requires stillness is an absolute fail for me :)


Coombe Mill April 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

A Buddhist retreat sounds quite an experience. I think I run and meditate, that may sound a contradiction but it is where I clear my brain and have all my best ideas!


Kierna C April 13, 2013 at 5:39 am

Sounds really interesting Jen, & hope everyone is feeling better soon so you can all enjoy being outdoors again soon.


Allison April 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Thank you for hosting and for featuring our kite!


Hollie April 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I have never tried meditating and walking, I think I will give it a try this week.


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