by Dr. Allan Tomson
When most people hear the word meditation, they think of sitting on the floor with legs crossed in quiet contemplation. However, there are other ways to explore as one works to quiet the mind. Used for centuries as well, moving meditation is a way of being in mindful, yet moving through space—albeit more slowly and focused.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist Vietnamese monk who is inspirational in the mindfulness movement. For many years he has taught a form of moving meditation he calls mindful walking; encouraging people to “be in the moment” using your breath in a focused way while walking slowly. (you can access some of his teachings on You Tube).
Another method, Forest Bathing is a term coined in Japan about 10 years ago. It is used to describe a type of moving meditation in the woods. It is different from going for a walk or a hike in that it slows you down in the middle of the forest to be better able to enjoy your surroundings. You will notice things that would ordinarily have gone by your awareness. It is very relaxing and rejuvenating.
These methods are so simple, yet recharging, to our nervous systems. Also, the greater Washington, D.C. area has some wonderful forests to test out these moving meditations.
Dr. Allan Tomson is a holistic health practitioner with over 30 years in practice. He works with acute and chronic health problems using structural balance, nutritional and other lifestyle interventions at Neck, Back & Beyond, 10195 Main St. Ste. D, Fairfax. For more information, call 703-865-5690 or visit NeckBackAndBeyond.com.