This contemplation is deceptively simple, for it requires that we just wander without purpose or direction in any setting of our choice. It has the potential, however, to be profoundly revealing. Meandering on beaches, in the woods, down city streets, or even in our backyard provides ample opportunity to engage this contemplation. Be duly warned, however: wandering in unknown territory will inevitably present surprises.
1. Prepare by choosing a general location for your aimless wandering. Establish no goals, destinations, or agendas. Be free of intention.
2. As always, begin the contemplation with steps 1 and 2 of the six-step contemplation.[Step 1 -Rest the mind in the present moment; Step 2 - Shift to contemplation]
3. As you begin the contemplation, open out fully: there is nowhere to go and nothing to do.
4. Let go of the need to keep track of anything whatsoever. As the mind seeks to set a course or recollect, drop the internal tracking and bring your attention to whatever is occurring.
5. Permit yourself to appreciate whatever arises. Pause and carefully observe anything that attracts your attention. Give your curiosity free rein with sights, sounds, smells, and physical feelings that spontaneously guide your wandering.
6. Be responsive to environmental cues: a bird bathing in a puddle, designers rearranging a department store window display, the sound of a violin — all are permitted to capture and lead your attention.
7. Acknowledge physical feelings that occur throughout the exercise without unduly lingering with the sensation.
8. Explore surprises and seeming coincidences. Notice and appreciate any excitement that may arise but refrain from embellishing it.
9. Make no deliberate mental notes but simply disown experience as it arises. Quickly drop the tendency to overdramatize contemplative insight.
10. Open physically to the absolute freedom of having nothing to gain and nothing to lose. Marveling at the sheer magnificence of it all is highly recommended."— Michael Carroll in The Mindful Leader