I hope you enjoy viewing my Mind Maps – there are hundreds more planned here at the Mind Map Inspiration Blog plus ongoing creativity and drawing tips. Also available: E-Books designed to help you create stylish and artistic mind maps of your own. If you know someone who could benefit from this post and others here at the Mind Map Inspiration Blog please share with them. Sitting meditation has always been challenging for me; practicing mindfulness, even harder. As a self-confessed worrywart who has contended with constant ruminations, flashbacks, and nightmares for most of my life (more on this later), all prior attempts at being fully present and not thinking merely served as reminders of how little control I had over my mind. Initially, just being out in nature on scenic trails cultivated calmness and cleared my head.
They include flashbacks of my mother’s numerous suicide attempts in our decrepit Chinatown apartment, my father’s drunken rages, and recurring images of shootings, savage beatings, and other gory crime scenes from my gangbanging days. However, I had gotten a taste of the benefits of mindfulness meditation and discovered that it can be practiced while engaging in an activity I enjoyed.
After reading what was available on walking meditation, which typically advise focusing on the flow of our “in” and “out” breaths, I developed my own techniques for practicing mindful walking and hiking. My favorite is to look ahead and select a destination point or object and stay focused on it. Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh, often called “Thay,” which means “teacher” in Vietnamese, is revered throughout the world for his teachings and writings on mindfulness and peace. He has brought the practice into institutions, including maximum-security prisons, helping inmates attain calmness and inner peace while being confined up to twenty-four hours daily.
We live in a culture where many of us want quick results with as little effort as possible.
In my opinion, it is virtually impossible to tackle mindfulness meditation without patience and discipline. When I started mindful walking and hiking, my ability to stay present was measured in feet and seconds.
As a highly competitive, emotionally undisciplined, and impatient person, I could have easily succumbed to my frustrations and given up.
As I continued my mindfulness “training,” catching my mind when it wandered occurred sooner, and the ability to refocus took less effort. These epiphanies and aha moments tend to be inspired by kindness and compassion, as opposed to ego.
One morning, I was enjoying a relaxing hike when the familiar image of my attacker suddenly appeared.
This awakening, along with my spiritual practice, enabled me to cultivate compassion and forgiveness.
Whether I devote a few seconds by pausing and taking a deep belly breath—or hiking for several hours—benefits are reaped. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, practicing mindfulness has transformed my life. My mindfulness practice has empowered me to rest and calm my mind, as well as intercept and suppress negative thoughts.
Staying relaxed enables me to respond instead of react, which places me in a better position to reflect and gain insight into the underlying issues that triggered the desire to self-medicate.
The mental discipline I gained also enabled me to embrace Buddhism, which has interested, yet eluded me for many years.
So for those who find sitting meditation challenging, or for individuals seeking different ways to practice mindfulness, I recommend mindful walking and hiking. Not only is it a fun way to quiet the mind while getting some exercise, but it can be life-changing—helping us let go of worries, stress, tension, and even the most painful memories from the past.
About Bill LeeBill Lee is a second-generation Chinese American who grew up in the Chinese underworld.
This isn’t a meditation but one thing that has helped me is to simply remember all the stupid mistakes that I have made while driving.
From the little I know about Buddhism it seems like it goes deeper than just the commandment from the Bible as it gets into techniques of HOW to do it. I am going to share this article with my readers and please feel free to come back to visit my blog anytime!
You are the first one who writes the experience which is the same as I do – solution pops up in my mind during walking meditation too and I saw the negative side of me during my first walking meditation so I reminded myself to eliminate the negative side.
There are many creative ways to practice mindfulness: knitting, sewing, sketching, painting, and so on.
By the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using meditation techniques to fall asleep. And so Im really glad to read your post and see now this kind of meditation as an equal one. Friend, when I used to work in Alaska, I trekked up mountain trails every single day that I could — usually 3-4 times a week if I was able to. I find hiking alone just ends up driving me towards fixating on the damned thoughts I should be leaving behind. Let me know when you remember them or even any similar worthwhile books for that matter… He sure does, Dalai Lama is my personal fav though; his wisdom coupled with his sense of humor is like none other!

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Manifesting Mantra - Learn How to Meditate and Master your Mind -  Instantly Download Jafree's FREE Manifesting Mantra Meditation Now! Join MBA Project Founder and “Dharma Punx” author Noah Levine for the world premiere of “Meditate and Destroy”, a documentary about Noah’s transformation from substance-abusing skate punk to buddhist revolutionary. To help youth transform harmful behavior and live meaningful lives through mindfulness meditation and emotional awareness. Founded in 2000, MBA designs, delivers and researches mindfulness and emotional literacy programs for at-risk youth.
Join the MBA Project community for upcoming volunteer opportunities, inspiration, and the latest research. Meditation is not a very rosy journey to master, but once you get the heck of it you would realize that it was one of the best things you invested your time in.
The first and the foremost thing is to realize the importance of something you are starting anew. Initially you have to take the help of objects or music to make your concentration better, it is not easy to jump into a state where you would just close your eyes and have deep thoughts, which would happen in higher levels.
Meditation is just not about concentrating on something or having your focus maintained, or even visualizing or trying to stop thoughts. Then I took up hiking and stumbled upon a form of meditation that literally transformed my life. Almost immediately, I realized that hiking provided a respite from intrusive thoughts that have plagued me since I was a tyke.
Merely walking and hiking wasn’t enough to prevent symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress from returning.
It can be a shadow on the ground, boulder, bush, tree, manhole cover, light pole, store awning, mailbox, and so on. My brain automatically blocked out discursive thoughts; otherwise I could slip, trip, or fall. Many of them have professed that mindfulness meditation is the most difficult endeavor they have ever engaged in.
This applies to how we approach our work, health, pastimes, social interactions, and problems. But the short periods of calmness and inner peace I attained—supplemented by my stubbornness—provided the necessary resolve for me to stick with the program.
Personally, when I am procrastinating about something or seeking a solution to a problem, ideas and answers usually emerge effortlessly during or immediately following my walks and hikes.
For the very first time, I remained calm and found myself viewing my lifelong enemy as a kindred spirit.
I do it first thing in the morning when I wake up while still lying in bed, in the kitchen, in the shower, at my desk, and most recently while getting dental work done. With a family history of mental illness and a violent upbringing, I have been diagnosed and treated for multiple mood disorders, including manic depression, post-traumatic stress, addiction, and rage.
When I encounter them now, I pause, acknowledge what is happening, take a few deep breaths, focus on my surroundings, and allow the urges to pass. The benefits I received from mindful walking and hiking has inspired me to practice it throughout the day.
I was terrified of myself, often wondering when I left the house if I would end up in jail or the morgue. I have become a patient and compassionate driver, smiling at other motorists and limiting use of the horn for safety purposes. I too have troubles with sitting meditation, for many times I can’t stand the restlessness inside. I have gone through tough times in my life too (probably not as tough as you) and I kinda see a bit of me in you. This article really touched me and I was both surprised and pleased when I saw that you wrote it.
If someone like you who has gone through so much can recover from that, certainly I can as well.
With mindfulness, we can choose when to address the negativity that emerges instead of letting them intrude and disrupt our equanimity. Only with a guided meditation I can calm down a little bit but i think thats not really enough for me and it doesnt really help me to find a better way dealing with my depression and ptbs symptoms. Suitable and comfortable for everyone, receive helpful advice that is easy to understand and practice in daily life. Overcome negative and distracting thoughts through the practice of mindfulness and concentration.

Featuring interviews with Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Amaro, Stephen and Ondrea Levine, and live performances by Good Riddance and Bold. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to get your mind peaceful and concentrate in this busy world today where you are surrounded with a lot of things and you always run short of time. For daily meditation you need to mentally and emotionally accept and be patient enough to go through the ups and downs that would occur initially. You would easily get into thoughtlessness and feel the change in your body and mind if you can wake up early and meditate at least for 5 to 10 minutes. There would be a lot of thoughts which come to your mind and all you need to think and say is that you forgive; you forgive people, circumstances, situations and problems which you might have gone through.
There would be a lot of thoughts which would pile up during meditation and all you need to do is let go.
Other techniques I came up with include fully feeling the ground of each step, following the flight pattern of birds and insects, observing cloud patterns, and being conscious of sounds and scents—moment to moment. I saw him as someone like me, most likely abused as a child, who desperately sought empowerment by joining gangs. Another insight I gained is that my past aggressive behavior on and off the road attracted like-minded people. In his new book, Born-Again Buddhist: My Path to Living Mindfully and Compassionately with Mood Disorders, he describes in detail the positive impact that mindful walking and hiking has made in his life. I’ve always found it easy to be mindful and present while walking, especially in nature.
It’s not easy to open up about our lives, but the way you did it was beautiful and honest. It sounds like your loved ones’ illness awakened your true nature, cultivating compassionate for them.
The beauty of mindfulness meditation is developing the ability to intercept and block intrusive thoughts, while quieting the mind. Hence, a caveat to the above statement is that someone just learning to knit, sew, sketch, or paint and has to follow instructions or think about what they’re doing would not be advised to practice mindfulness and their craft simultaneously.
The issue comes about when individuals adopt a meditation practice whereby they choose to lie down to meditate and fall asleep when they don’t intend to. But I really enjoy it very much to go for a walk, I feel so right when Im outdoors and can accept the thoughts come and go there. Personally, I actually find socializing works pretty good to disengage me from destructive thoughts.
Many practitioners practice mindfulness and insight meditations separately, but I discovered that simply training in mindfulness enables the insights and solutions I’m seeking to emerge effortlessly. Most of your chakras get cleared out with the morning meditation and you look forward to your normal schedule. You can also get some meditation music which would keep you concentrated on them which you meditate. But now slowly my behavior is changing from more talking to more listening, and my power to understand the other person has improved.
I suppose they work together, but by just legalistically following a commandment I doubt will get you there. I have had mixed results trying meditating as it actually much of the time intensifies those thoughts although I guess that is a common problem. Ive heard about walking meditation before but always like a way which is not as good or as helpfull as sitting meditation.
Research have shown that the most effective ways to boost the neurotransmitter, serotonin, is through exercise, sunlight, and sleep. What you need to do is that you need to stress on your head and try to gain back the concentration eliminating those distracting ideas. People without mental illnesses still see everything through their perceptions of reality, rather than reality itself. I take heavy duty medication to sleep partially because those thoughts plague me at night when everything becomes quiet. There will come a time when you feel that the time is still and you let your thoughts expand to a situation where you don’t have them anymore. I have been trying part of the time to either focus on the sensations of being in bed, the feeling of the mattress, the temperature of the air, ect. I just learned how to deal with things differently because I never want my temper to control me. As long as I don’t give up, I will eventually learn how to calm my mind and hear my inner voice.
Also, my dad taught me that people don’t think when they are angry, the worst things come out of there mouths. I know that you are not supposed to use meditation to go to sleep but for me this seems like a good therapeutic tool.

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