BANGKOK,THAILAND - JULY 13 :  Thai military of...

BANGKOK,THAILAND – JULY 13 : Thai military officers dressed in traditional orange monk robes are seen during their official ordination ceremony on July 13, 2011 at the Benchamabopit temple, also known as Marble temple, in Bangkok, Thailand. Eighty four of the military officers were ordinated into the Buddhist community over two days, taking leave of absence from their jobs in the Army for three months during the Buddhist lent period. July 16 will mark the first day of the yearly three-month retreat of Buddhist monks where they will practice meditation in temples and study dharma. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

By Tameera S Kemp

Left foot lift, left foot move forward, left foot down…

Right foot lift, right foot move forward, right foot down…

I was barefoot and dressed in white. My feet were touching the earth of a beautiful garden very slowly. If you saw me you might have thought I was recovering from injury, trying my best to walk again. I’m sure I could have been mistaken for an escapee from the hospital…

The first time I tried walking meditation, years ago at a Buddhist meditation retreat, I felt like a child learning to move her limbs in relation to space. I think the monks were smiling, trying not to laugh.

Truth be told, it took me a long while to incorporate mindful walking into my meditation practice. Instead of feeling the earth at the soles of my feet, my mind wandered off again and again. My thoughts drifted from month-old conversations to bizarre and completely unconnected parts of my life.

You’d think there is no better place to learn meditation than a hilltop blanketed with lush green grounds, flowing rivers and a silence interrupted only by bird calls and swaying trees. “But my untamed mind won’t even let me walk straight back and forth.” I stopped when my legs grew heavier and sat on a cushion to relax.

Learning meditation can be frustrating and I can’t remember the exact reasons why I persevered. It certainly wasn’t just the benefits of regular meditation practice people told me about. I believe that once we try to begin meditating, we come face to face with the child within us, the child who didn’t doubt whether he or she would eventually walk or talk, read the alphabet or ride a bike. The child in us just does it and progresses naturally.

Trust your inner guide as you start your meditation practice and let things unfold in their own time. The aim is to be in the moment, what’s here, right now. Through learning to breathe, you can calm your mind and observe your thoughts. When you begin to meditate your wandering mind will be occupied with thoughts about the past and the future.

But gradually and slowly, through daily practice, meditation will help you realize that negative thought patterns distract you from fully living in the present. Living here, right now, is key to improving the quality of your thoughts and being in your flow.

Light Stays Retreats and Living is a new global holistic directory to inspire and guide your mind, body and soul. Through Light Stays find your perfect retreat, event, class or workshop or post yours for others to see.

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