Walking, meditate on the move


A man walks in Fort Kochi, Kerala, India

I walk. A lot. I enjoy walking both at home and when traveling. In fact, as soon as I arrived in a (new) place, I’d choose walking around before doing anything else. It’s not to only to familiarize myself with the place, but also to acclimatize myself to the environment.

Walking, especially when done in silent, kept my senses alert and my mind aware. I had to see what my eyes could see. I had to hear to the slightest conversations nearby even when I didn’t understand the language. I had to find nearby meals and judged them by the smell only (okay, sometimes I checked on Google). And I had to rely on whatever I had to interact with people with different language.

In Kochi, I met Thomas, a fifty year old employee who asked me a favor to give a small gift to his long time friend in Jakarta. In Kandovan, I met a taxi driver who asked me to join him back without paying as long as I wanted to hear his story (read: complaints) on his country leaders. In Seminyak, I stumbled with another runner from Melbourne with whom I then shared a breakfast and talked about what makes a great place to live. And so on. I met these people when walking (and running) alone, exploring the place (yes, Seminyak was rather new to me at that time, thank you).

How can walking got me to interact with these strangers? Logically, when walking done in concetration, I would be absorbed to learn about my surroundiing. Consequently, when I learn about it, my gesture will show it. Others could easily see this and – if they were interested – attracted to you.

With all the body senses required, walking is an active, focused and concentrated action. Waking is, to me, meditative.

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