A Walk in Nature as Meditation (And Take Your Dog)

The easiest way for many people to begin a nature-based spiritual practice is to simply take a walk.  Obviously, this walk should be outside and hopefully among trees, flowers, grasses, water, or other natural elements.  This walk should be in a place where you feel safe and where your quiet time is not disturbed by crowds of people, traffic noise, or other distractions.  

If you have a dog, you might begin this spiritual practice on the pretense of “taking the dog for a walk.”  Dogs are generally good, silent companions who keep you moving but require little in the way of conversation.  In any case, you might feel most at ease on a path that loops back to where you began, for a sense of beginning and ending this time of quiet and spiritual refreshment.

If you are wheel-chair bound or have mobility issues, you might find a flat, paved path in a public park.  If you are very athletic and enjoy a physical challenge, you might go on a hike in a wilderness area.  But even a walk in your neighborhood, through a garden, or around your own home “counts.”  The point is to quiet the mind.  The point is to find a semi-meditative state of mind while you get some exercise for your body at the same time.  Think of this walk as a form of contemplative prayer…in motion.

Cynthia Coe is the author of creation care resources for adults, youth, and children. Her books Earth Our Garden Home, Wild Faith, and Considering Birds & Lilies are all available in print and e-book editions and included in Kindle Unlimited.

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