The secret of learning the skill of mindfulness is applying the technique to mundane activities that we do habitually and by slowing them down. If one were to count the number of blades of a rotating fan what is the best way? Stopping it, of course. Next best is to slow it down. It is the same principle that we use in this Practice.
Find a stretch of about ten to fifteen feet ( 3-4 Meters). This can be a part of your garden, a corridor in your home or the living apartment, or a stretch in a park or a beach.
If the weather permits be barefoot.
Stand still at one edge of the path. Have your hands on either side or in front or at the back. Observe the total being. How your feet feel the weight of your body, and the tensions of the muscles of your legs, back and even shoulders and arms. Keep observing the feelings and sensations of the whole body. You will be surprised how many different sensations go on without we noticing.
Then make a decision to walk from your present position till end of the path or the point you have identified in your own mind. Notice that until you decide to walk you don’t move forward. Now begin walking very slowly. See whether you can break up the process of walking to its different stages. Such as Lifting the foot, Moving forward, bringing it down and touching the floor. While you take one foot forward and down you will notice how the weight of the body move towards the other feet. Keep focusing on the sensations come from your sole. The touch sensation, the feeling of the weight, the bending, stretching, moving at every step.
While doing this too you might find your mind drifting away to think of something else or a sound that reaches your ear can demand attention and so on. Here again relax and come back to walking. Slowly walk towards the end of the path. Once you reach the end stop and before stopping notice the intention to stop. When you come to a still position observe the sensations of the whole body from tip to toe.
Observe in your mind’s eye your posture and the intention to turn back. Become aware of every single movement of the process of turning. Repeat the slow walk with total attention to the feet and the lower part of the body. Do this for about ten to fifteen minutes.
Once you figure out how to do this you can become mindful of walking even in other situations. May be your morning or evening walk on the beach, try becoming aware only of walking , how the wind touches your body, how the body moves, the rhythm of movement, the feeling in your feet, the sounds that you hear .. just notice and continue walking.
The objective of all these Practices is to learn to bring the mind to the present moment and to the task at hand ..that is walking.
When doing this you will find many moments where you were engaged in other thoughts and even discussions with yourself.