Walking Meditation: Seeing Your World

Before it gets hot, I’m up and walking. About three miles a day. Walking meditation is the quiet start to my day. After I get home, the phone can ring and the calls can start, but without that time of meditation and quiet contemplation, my day never settles in right.

Walking meditation can take many forms, mine is simply walking briskly while being aware of the sounds and sights that nature offers. “Nature” covers a broad experience here–I live in a city, so there is traffic, trees, kids on their way to school, bikes, dogs, crossing guards, trash and recycling pick-ups. Often I’m walking before it gets too light or too noisy, but it doesn’t really matter. A good walking meditation is a great way to start the day.

Here is a wood picket fence with a new coat of paint. It’s had a tough summer, though.

White picket fence, baked in the heat.

White picket fence, baked in the heat.

One of my joys is to see things closely, to enjoy them exactly as they are in the exact slant of light as they appear. And at different times of year, there is a different light and each object has different meanings.

This picket fence needed paint two weeks ago. It had been through a number of years of dust storms, scorching sun and drought. It was peeling and grey.

Now it’s had a coat of paint, but not all the pickets soaked up the paint in the same way. In this slant of light, the curved slats look important, standing out from the many others that are straight. Sort of like people.

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Here is a lampost, the kind that our neighborhood uses. In this light, I realized that the texture wasn’t aluminum, nor was it bright metal.

Tall light posts in our neighborhood.

Tall light posts in our neighborhood.

In fact, it seems to be wrapped in something and then painted over. It’s hard and plastic sounding when tapped with a fingernail. It could be fiberglass,

Is this fiberglass wrapping on our light posts?

Is this fiberglass wrapping on our light posts?

but all I know is that the criss-cross is fascinating and makes great patterns as the sun slants against it.

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Last week, I noticed that Palo Verde trees were putting out new leaves. These leaves are tiny and won’t get much bigger, but when they fall off, it comes off with the entire stem, and looks like pine straw. It’s tough, and makes horrible mulch.

New leaves on the palo verde

New leaves on the palo verde

Walking meditation is a never-ending surprise of sounds and views. You can walk the same route every day and never see or experience the same walk twice.

It’s a soothing and calming experience; walking day to day makes you aware of the passage of time and the changes in your life as well as in the seasons. Often, people are surprised at the change of months or the approaching holiday. Walking meditation puts you in perfect synchronization with the world you walk through.

–—Quinn McDonald is a life- and certified creativity coach. She teaches people how to write and give presentations. She also teaches people who can’t draw how to keep an art journal.

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11 responses to “Walking Meditation: Seeing Your World

  1. There is a new Trabant concept car that goes on electricity. This Trabant can be admired now by it’s fans at the Auto Show 2009 in Frankfurt.

    This car is like weed.. it keeps coming back ;)

    • Who buys this car? It sounds awful.

      • Well it is still a concept car and the makers/designers hope to sell it by 2012 if they can find a ‘sponsor’.

        It will run on electricity and can go for about 160 kilometers before it needs to be plugged in for some time.
        So fuel costs will be 1 Euro per 160 kilometers or per 100 miles.

        On top of that the interieur+exterieur are redesigned and it is a very shiny Trabant.

        Still I will stick to the French cars as always but so now and then my eyes are drawn to the Italian beauties. I love the new Fiat 500 and the Lancia Delta.

        This is not me, writing about cars. Today your meditation gave me my inspiration.

        (I had a bad night sleep and was grumpy a l l day by the way)

  2. The basic technique applies, I think, to lots of combinations of materials — layers of long fibers within some kind of goop that starts liquid and hardens. Using “carbon fibers” for the fabric — along with a good kind of goop, I assume — makes it super-strong and super-light.

    Wikipedia has a good article about Trabants; says the fabric in their goop was cotton or wool. There are a few Trabants in Finland, not so much in use as collector curiosities (I’ve seen two; both at antique car shows). Even shined up as much as possible, they still look pretty shabby.

    I suppose if you used baling wire as the fiber and a polyester resin, you COULD make an airplane out of plastic and baling wire! (Use the right kind of resin and maybe it would even qualify as chewing gum :-D

  3. Aren’t many cars made of carbonfiber nowadays?

    • I swear cars are made out of plastic and baling wire. But I’m being grumpy.

      • Cars made out of carbofiber have a crack instead of a dent when they bump into another car.

        Trabants were made out of carton I believe.

        Due to some stupid EU rule we will have a whole lot of aluminium airplanes flying right over our houses in the month of october. The good news is that airplanes are not made out of plastic and baling wire ;))

  4. Could be you have carbon fiber light poles. I don’t think fiberglass is strong enough. If so, very cool. I’ve been thinking about getting the materials to fabricate some carbon fiber parts for my car — you don’t need an oven any more. But you do have to be able to create a mold out of styrofoam or something; probably beyond my modeling sklls. :-)

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