grape arbor with paved walkway
What if you’re interested in meditating outdoors, especially in your garden, but cross-legged poses sitting on the grass are not feasible for your knees or hip joints these days?
Try walking meditation the Elderyarding® way.
If you’re outside in the fresh air and the garden makes you feel like moving, a great method is walking meditation. This type of meditation can be done in many places, and it’s perfect to locate in your Elderyard®.
The websites providing instructions for walking meditation advise to find a space for walking that is 20 to 30 paces long and has a midpoint. Use your own pace for the measurement.
What you can do is walking from one end to the other, with the “midpoint” being where you turn around and walk back. The physical space the walking path occupies can be 10-15 paces long.
Take a look at two detailed descriptions of walking meditation from Wild Mind and Lions Roar. Notice that in both descriptions, your awarenessis concentrated. You practice pulling your thoughts away from distractions.
What does that tell you about the design? Yes, the path needs to be wide enough to navigate easily, though it doesn’t have to be straight. It should also be smooth and free from level changes or obstacles that could make you trip.
You are walking slowly, even super slowly, in walking meditation. So a good starting option is a firmly compacted mulch path. If you plan to practice throughout the seasons, though, a hard surface will remove falling risk like mud or a critter-caused hole.
If you will use a portion of an existing walkway for meditation, consider how a change in paving color or material could mark your midpoint. Colored concrete, even a statue or large rock adjacent to the path will serve the purpose.
Plan for long-term use. Allow space for a future handrail and a bench or two. Meditation has no rules requiring you to give up if you need support for movement and rest later in life.
Consider, too, whether your walkway needs sun or alternative lighting. An illuminated walkway under an arbor might be a perfect solution. It can be evenly lit for clear depth perception when days are shorter and provides shade for comfort and protection from glare in midsummer.
There you go – exercise, stress management, and fresh air in one easy package right at home.
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