Go for a walk, put some headphones in, and play a song. Bring your attention to your visual field, and keep it there. Imagine you’re watching the music video for this song. Try to stay focused for the full duration of the song.
- Increased mindfulness
Have you ever been out walking, and been so lost in your mind that you can barely remember the walk?
Meditation teachers ancient and modern suggest that, while sitting down for formal practice sessions is all well and good, we should also try to integrate mindfulness into our everyday lives. That is, they advise you should try to be present in the now as much as possible, rather than lost in thought, as you are most of the time.
This exercise is useful because, for many people, walking with music on is part of their daily routines, walking to work, walking round the park, whatever. So you can take something you do anyway, and turn it into a mindfulness meditation. It can also enhance your enjoyment of the songs you listen to!
How to do it
- Go for a walk, put some headphones in, and play a song. Do this in a safe area like a pedestrianised street or a park.
- Bring your full attention to the present moment, in particular, to your visual field. Pretend that your field of vision is the music video for the song. Try to use your peripheral vision – observe your visual field as a whole, rather than focusing on any aspect of it.
- You can also bring in any sounds you can hear in addition to the song itself.
- When you notice that your mind has wandered, which it will, just bring it back to the music video, by focusing your attention back to your visual field, the music, and any other sounds.
- Try to stay focused for the whole song.
Do this anytime you’re out walking and listening to music.