A Walking Meditation in Winter’s Garden

by Linda Wiggen Kraft

Winter is a time to settle into silence, to find that sweet inner space of soul’s pure essence and to be one with nature. There is quiet in the winter. The soft sound of snow falling is a gentle silence not heard at any other time of the year. The quiet essence and colors of winter are a reflection of the inner stillness the soul yearns for.

A walk alone where one’s heart, eyes and mind are open is essential for a winter’s garden walking meditation. Being wise about the weather and dressing for it is a must, but both sunny days and days that seem drab can be perfect for a winter garden walk.

A walking meditation allows a person to be in the moment and aware of all that is around. It is a time to be mindful of the body as it moves through the outdoor space and a time to feel part of the landscape. A walking pace that feels easy and comfortable, while allowing time to notice the details of the surrounding world works best. Stopping to observe the subtleties of a tree’s bark, or the imprint of a fallen leaf in the snow is all part of the journey. There is no destination, just the journey. A set time of 20 minutes is often done, or the journey may take its own time.

Begin by going to a park, garden or place in nature that can easily be walked through. Enter this space and open your heart to connect with the land, plants and animals that inhabit this world. Feel the crossing of a threshold into a sacred winter space. Hold this space in your heart and allow yourself to receive the beauty and power of it. Stand still and breath in and out deeply for a few moments. Feel feet connecting with the earth and breath in the sky.

As each step is taken, be aware of body connecting to earth, the life underground even in winter, the cool air of each breath, the plants above ground alive now, be aware of it all.
For some walking meditations a gatha, meaning verse or hymm, is inwardly recited. The first line is recited with the in breath, the second with the out breath and so on.

Here is a winter’s gatha for walking meditation:
Entering this winter garden
I feel the quiet, peace and power of winter
I am one with this garden.
I leave behind all that is not of this moment
Walking mindfully with open heart will let winter softly grab your attention. Unlike summer that shouts it’s bright colors and seductive shapes; the subtle colors, shapes and movements of the cold months will enter into the deep quiet of the soul to bring a serenity, invigoration and peace.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and sustainable gardens. She is also a mandala artist and workshop leader. Visit her blog: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com/blog or website: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. Contact her at 314 504-4266.