a peek inside the fishbowl

08 Apr, 2020

Walking meditation

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

As some of you already know, I’ve been working from home these past few weeks. I feel very fortunate to be able to do so, and to have a good set up in order to Get Things Done. I went to the office yesterday to pick up a couple of things and also to check out a weekly meditation session for employees. These are hosted by a rotating group of staffers. As far as I know they tend to be indoors, but because of new physical distancing guidelines they were moved outdoors.

This meditation session was a walking meditation. I thought it might be guided – that someone would lead us and tell us what to do – but I was wrong. The instructions were simple, or so I thought: wander around one area of the grounds and breathe. Of course, there was a bit more to it than that. We were instructed to pay attention to our breathing, the feeling of our feet on the ground, and for the sounds/smells/stuff around us. And with that, we all went our separate ways.

Some people walked around the lawn, some people walked through a woody area, some people stood with their faces to the sun. It was pretty cool.

Walking meditation

I discovered something about myself. I’m a speed walker and walking slow was surprisingly difficult for me. In fact, I wobbled a couple of times. Somehow, it was harder to keep my balance when I wasn’t a human projectile. How slow were we walking? Good question. I can’t honestly say we were walking. Perhaps stepping describes it better: One, very, slow, step, with, every, inhale, and, one, slow, step, with, every, exhale. Repeat. And repeat.

I had to force myself to slow way down. I took deep breaths, and noticed things around me that I would have missed at my usual pace. I really looked; really listened. There was the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves, bird song, the smell of the earth. Somehow, I became closer to it all. I banished intrusive thoughts and focused on the moment and on the beauty around me. I felt closer to the world around me than I had in the long time. It was a lovely gift.


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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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