Walking the mystical path with practical feet...
"If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk."
Walking meditation is found n the spiritual traditions of the world, and is the heart of any true pilgrimage. Some indigenous cultures walk great distances during initiation rites as a way to claim the authentic self. These walks are known as "walkabouts" among the Aboriginals of Australia and as vision quests among the native peoples of North America. Their purpose is to instill creative resourcefulness and deepen self-knowledge in order to teach survival techniques and cultural values. In modern times, walking everyday for at least a half hour can maintain health and wealth-being. In his essay on the Art of Walking, Henry David Thoreau describes how much he learned about himself, about nature; and how his four-hour daily walks revealed and resolved both internal and external problems. As St Augustine reminds us, "Solvitur Ambulando. It is resolved by walking."
The purpose of walking meditation is to relax and to honor reflective time. Human beings do this instinctively. We walk along the beach; take a trail through the woods; or hike up a mountain path. Wherever we choose to walk, especially when we are alone, we easily fall into a state of reflection, introspection, discovery and contemplation. We find ourselves in a natural altered state or meditative mode. Walking itself supports the aspects of trust and openness. When our body is open and moving, as it is in walking, it is not uncommon for spontaneous insights, innovative ideas, revelations, or creative solutions to surface. Any form of meditation; but, particularly, walking meditation might be thought of as a bridge between the outer and inner worlds; and it reveals clarity and self-knowledge. Essentially walking has both and internal and external benefit–-so why not do more of it, and benefit and grow in both worlds of our experience!