As we emerge into spring this Eastertide, it is a good time to practice walking prayer. Prayer life is a journey, and like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, walking can lead to an encounter with God.
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” (Luke 24:13-15)
Walking takes our bodies through physical space enabling our minds to venture through spiritual space. Slow walking as a prayer practice leads us to increase our awareness, as Daniel Wolpert says, to "move into that space of the eternal present" where we experience God.
Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:31-32)
Slow walking can be done indoors or outside. Begin the walk by asking God to be present with you.
Begin walking slowly. As you walk, slow your pace. Slow it again. Concentrate on each step, feeling your foot lift, move through the air, and descend, making contact with the ground. Feel your weight shift as you start to slowly lift the other foot. Slow your mind. Observe your breath, your heartbeat, your thoughts. Pray with intention or just walk with God with heightened awareness. Walk for at least 15 minutes.
When your walk is complete, offer thanks to God.