If you would like to calm both your body and your mind in order to concentrate on connecting spiritually with God, you may want to try Spiritual Walking – sometimes called Prayer Walking – a meditation ritual that can quiet the soul and refresh the spirit.
Spiritual Walking can be done at times and in places where the walker can be alone to relax and focus on the presence of God. So many of us are over-scheduled and undernourished. It can be difficult to turn down the volume of life and connect with God. Our brains are filled with multi-tasking. It is not easy to clear away the clutter. Perhaps early in the morning, during a lunch break, or at the close of a busy day, you can schedule moments simply for personal reflection and restoration.
One form of Spiritual Walking is the practice of “mindfulness,” the ability to focus our attention and awareness on the present moment, aware only of mind, body and spirit. Start your walk by being conscious of the rhythm of your breathing – breathe in…breathe out; you may even wish to whisper Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am.” Be aware only of the present, not the past or the future. The American Franciscan priest and spiritual writer, Richard Rohr is a fine resource for understanding contemplative walking. Other excellent techniques for calming mind and body can be found in the writings of Buddhist Priest Thich Nhat Hanh.
The book Prayer for People Who Can’t Sit Still by William Tenny-Brittian, offers a trove of kinesthetic spiritual practices for adults who may have difficulty engaging in contemplative walking. If you struggle with quieting your body and mind, try Prayer Walking by simply lifting others in prayer; or, by telling God about your anger or what is heavy on your heart. Perhaps it would be helpful to conclude your walk by finding gratitude for your life and expressing thankfulness to God.
The Labyrinth, the Children’s Garden and Tommy’s Bench located on grounds of the Woods Counseling & Care Center are available to all who seek spiritual replenishment.