I have always being scared of practising walking meditation in public spaces. I think people will stare at me. I am afraid of looking like some sort of walking ghost.
I decided I wanted to do something about it, so with the prospect of my trip to New York for New Year’s Eve, I told myself I would do a walking meditation at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, while changing planes and terminals, arriving from Valencia on my way to New York.
Going through a big airport, from one terminal to another, waiting in long lines, going through immigration, through security, is not the most relaxing thing in the world, and it can be a rather stressful situation, especially if connecting times are tight.
Although I had plenty of time between flights, I tried to live my experience in a completely different way, being mindful, being aware of each step.
Going out of the plane, walking along the airbridge towards the terminal…
Being aware of my breath while I walk, the air coming in and going out, and at the same time being aware of my hips, my legs, my feet…
Concentrating on my foot lifting as the other touches the floor. Feeling that contact. The skin against the sock, the sock against the shoe, the shoe against the floor. Only this exists at this particular moment. Savouring it.
Being aware when my mind wanders, wanting to complain about how heavy my bags are, on how long the immigration lines are, or if someone tries to bypass the queue…
Going back to my breathing and to the movement of my legs, and my feet. Finding refuge and peace at these anchors.
Trying to bring this awareness to my posture, to my body when I am standing in a line, or observing the planes on the runway.
And doing this with gentleness, without any judgement.
Finally getting into the big bird, finding my seat, taking my place… realising that I feel different to other trips, I feel at peace, I feel well.
Mission accomplished! I say to myself. You’ve managed to do it and it has been great…!