When I think about the words “movement meditation”, I usually think of yoga or tai chi. Though many have found these forms of meditation to be beneficial, I decided to try something a little different this week.
The forms of movement I chose were walking and running. I paired them with different tools to guide my meditations.
Rosary walk/run. The first form of movement meditation I tried was going for a walk while praying the rosary. I liked this idea, but I found it difficult to concentrate on the prayers and mysteries. It might have been the time of day that I walked or that I was too distracted by my route.
But I didn’t want to give up on the rosary! At a different time of day, taking a slightly less busy route, I tried praying the rosary while running. The rhythm of my feet hitting the pavement and my slightly forced breathing seemed to help my focus, and I was able to have a deeper meditation experience.
I took my phone with me and used this guide as a review of the mysteries. If you’re unfamiliar with how to pray the rosary, that site will tell you everything you need to know about this beautiful prayer.
Walk with Mother Teresa. One morning I woke up early and needed to go to the grocery store. Since our grocery store isn’t too far, I decided to walk and meditate on my way there. I had not experienced morning meditation as part of this series, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to try it.
In the book, Thirsting for God: Daily Meditations, the reader has the opportunity to “get a daily dose of inspiration from the heart of St. Teresa of Calcutta and discover how to find joy in serving others”. The book offers short daily meditations, so I read the day’s passage slowly three times, and I set off for my walk. I repeated the words that stuck out to me in that passage and let their meaning marinate as I walked.
Mindfulness walk. I found a type of mindfulness meditation that is paired with scripture, and I decided to give it a try while walking one day. This tool had me focus on one or two of the five senses for three minutes as I walked. I read a psalm after my three-minute observance. Then I focused on the next sense for three minutes as I walked, which was followed by a psalm, and so on.
Things I noticed with movement meditation:
1. Deeper connection with God. Throughout this meditation series I continue to listen to God’s message and ponder it more instead of always asking and talking to God. My prayer life seems more balanced and whole.
2. Greater feelings of calm and peace after meditating. As I’ve added the movement piece to my meditations, I’ve also felt more energized.
3. Feelings of being grounded, and the stresses of the day felt less significant.
4. Deeper connection with my patients at work. Maybe it’s because of a clearer mind, better focus, more patience, or being able to listen better. I seem to be less focused on myself and have slightly more empathy.
I enjoyed this week’s Movement Meditation theme because of the addition of physical activity to my meditations. Adding the exercise component and aspect of being outdoors really amplified the benefits of my meditations.
I find I like to meditate more and more as the weeks go on. We’ll see what Week 4: Meditation through Reading has to offer next week.
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