As is my wont in the summer, I put on my walking shoes and walked over the the nearby lake at lunch. I usually listen to music, but I have misplaced my earbuds so I had to hoof it on my own.
This seemed like a perfect opportunity to practice walking meditation, but it just felt like too much work. I wanted to wind down from work, not work on something else. so, I made a deal with myself, I would let my mind go wherever it pleased to wander on the way to the lake, and I would put my best effort into mindfulness on the way back to work. I am really happy with the result.
I walked in the sunshine toward the Chugach mountains and let my mind leap around like the monkey it is. I thought about blogging, and sushine. I stopped to watch the caterpillar cross the bike path. Why I find caterpillers adorable and maggots repulsive when they are the same thing will not be explored here. I thought about how little and green the new birch leaves are, but how they add up to such great effect, I thought about Star Trek. I thought a lot about Star Trek. I thought about the book I'm reading and how much it changed my philosophy, but felt so true the first time I read it. It underscores for me that there is no separation between the physical and the spiritual even though that is not what it is about. This type of mental meandering is one of the most relaxing things in the world for me and I don't want to give it up to be mindfull all the time. I know it's not disciplined, but it is nourishing.
On the way back to the office, I focused on where I was at the time, my breath, the rhythm of my steps and all the sounds and beautiful sights around me. This is also time well spent, but I don't think I would have been as prepared or as able to commit to the concentration without the earlier mental downtime. I don't have a name for this reverse meditation, but it's peaceful and I need it. An aspect of the UU path I find really valuable is that I don't have to always be doctinaire.