quiet walk

How to take a wordless walk

You can do this anywhere.  While you might imagine a wordless walk happening in a peaceful forest or deserted beach, it's just as possible to enjoy wordlessness in a busy airport or city streetscape. Here's what I do. 1. Breathe.  No, really.  Feel your breath actually expanding your lungs instead of that shallow stuff you're doing most of the time because you're so busy thinking.  (I have to remind myself of this, that's why I'm reminding you too!) 2. Soften your gaze.  Find an object (a tree, a building, a Cinnabon store) in the middle of your visual field.  Look at it, then while still looking at it, widen your peripheral vision as far as you can to include everything around it.  Bring the object you're looking at to the foreground, then make it the background, just by shifting your focus. 3. Listen.  Listen to all the sounds around you.  Birdsong, car horns, the wind, airport announcers - take it all in.  Now try to hear the space between the sounds. 4. Walk slowly with your gaze soft and your ears open.  You can also use your sense of smell - flowers? ocean? cinnamon rolls? - to bring yourself to the present. 5. Walk for as long as you like, using your softened yet heightened senses to keep you in the present moment.  Keep breathing. If you find yourself drifting into thoughts of the past or future, you can help snap yourself back to the now simply by asking yourself to look around - really look.  Really listen.  Just be - without any need to be doing anything else.  And let me know how it goes!  I'd love to hear about your experiments with wordless walking!