Explore tools for critical reflection and spiritual practices to deepen your experiences.
A walking exercise to help you process your encounter.
Walking meditation, or walking prayer, provides a number of benefits. It can help us to become centered and achieve spiritual focus. When we are feeling lethargic or disconnected from our bodies a walking meditation can be both invigorating and grounding.
Set a length of time for this practice—fifteen minutes or more is optimum. Begin by asking God or your sense of higher power or greater mystery to guide your steps and direct your inner experience. As you engage in this practice, trust that God is filled with a deep love and an intimate knowledge of each person or circumstance you will be holding in your awareness.
Another form of walking meditation is walking a labyrinth. Many churches and retreat centers have labyrinths available for those who wish to pray. Often the curators of these labyrinths have literature available to help guide and enrich the experience.
You may also be able to create your own “labyrinth” experience by identifying a specific routine path that is ordinarily free of distractions and which leads to a particularly peaceful or meditative spot: a regular path to a particular park bench, a walk along a country road to a favorite rock, tree or picturesque view, even a path along a busy city street that ends in a public commons area or fountain can serve the function of a labyrinth. The essential ingredients are a defined path, a restful destination, and a return path back out into the “real world.”
There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. This practice can be used for prayer, discernment, and healing. As you begin, it may be helpful to hold your encounter in mind ask God for what you need to hear, and then listen for an answer as you walk.