Slowing Down

We are so much in a rush, we forget how to drop our pace. This can help.

How to Practice

Get outdoors in a place that feels good to you: a park, a garden, a forest, a lake or seaside, in the hills.

Before you get started, place yourself there. Get a sense of orientation: the surroundings, the earth beneath you, the sky above. Feel a sense of company with the natural world.

Walk slowly, allowing yourself to feel yourself there in that place as you walk. Be there as you walk.

After 10 minutes, slow your pace to half speed and continue.

Then again after another 10 minutes, slow to half that speed.

When your thoughts wander (and your thoughts will likely wander to far more places than your feet do), stop right where you are and get that sense of place again. “Oh yes. Here I am.” Notice your surroundings. Then begin to walk again at the slower pace. If a thought repeatedly demands your attention, stop and allow it to have its say before you move on.

You may want to sit for a while or stand in one place for a while. If you do, to keep the meditation from becoming static, place yourself near running water or somewhere that you can see moving clouds.

Then continue on, slowing your pace every 10 minutes until you are finished.


Since most of us tend to speed up our walk as thoughts carry our attention elsewhere, the deliberate slowing of the pace every 10 minutes helps to bring our attention back and restore a slow-ish pace for the meditation. Even if you tend to walk slowly anyhow, the deliberate slowing of the pace can add a new element to the meditation.