Walking Meditation

Forest Monks One of the things I hate at the beginning and slowly like towards the end is jogging in the late evening.

Every two days, I would force myself to do a 45-60 minute run/jog/walk around Serangoon Garden Estate, a private estate full of chic and modern bungalows and terrace houses. At first getting out of my chair onto the tarmac hasn’t been easy. Many times I would try and make excuses like, “Oh, look at the time, its 11pm already, it would be really late by the time I come back home and I have classes tomorrow” or “I feel a cold coming on, better not run if not I might aggravate it and get sicker.” But once I start changing into my jogging shorts and attire with my ipod on my hand, I would kick into exercise mode.

The first 15 minutes of the run/jog/walk is usually pretty difficult. Lots of stationary inertia needed to be burned off before I can get into the groove but once I cross that 15 mark plateau, I would zone into the run and forget about whatever problems past, present or future and just go into a state of peacefulness and quietness. Normally by the time I hit the 25 minutes mark, I would slowly start to transition into a brisk walk and just enjoy the scenery and quietness from being in a quiet estate. Having a good playlist of relaxing lounge music also helps me set into the groove.

I don’t know if this is what Thai Forest Monks probably meant when they talk about “walking meditation” but it sure feels like it; Forgetting that you’re in an exercise and being fully aware of your present surroundings. Nothing else. We don’t have much forests here in Singapore, so I guess, ‘quiet private estate’ is a good enough alternative.

Every time I come back from such an activity, I feel refreshed, energized and my mind feels more clear and at peace (even if its only for a short while), making it feel worthwhile despite spending an hour. Time that could have been spent on more ‘productive’ things like writing code, reports and powerpoint slides.

Go take a walk, you’ll love it.