Walking + Thinking

02023-05-17 | Walking | 3 comments

Why does walking help us think? For me:

1. It’s a self-hypnosis. The steady beat of your feet on the ground, the beat of the world moving past.

2. It pulls your stinkin’ noggin’ out of your stinkin’ phone. Mostly, anyway. In this way, it forces you to be present, to sometimes — even — be bored.

3. Boredom is the source of many solutions. Boredom kicks the brain into processing mode — background or otherwise.

So: We’re hypnotized through movement. We’re present. And we’re bored. That’s why it’s so good.

Drumming is a Kind of Walking — Ridgeline issue 162

I agree that rhythm is a big part of what makes walking so good for thinking. I also feel that walking is ingrained very deeply into our body and mind. It’s what humans have done forever. Walk to find food, walk to find prey, walk to water. At one point much of humanity walked out of Africa and all over the globe. There is comfort in putting one foot in front of the other. 

Boredom is creative or rather, boredom leads to creativity.

Boredom is the empty bowl that can receive the tea. No empty bowl – no room for tea.


  1. Steve

    “I learned that the world of men as it exists today is a bureaucracy. This is an obvious truth, of course, though it is also one the ignorance of which causes great suffering.

    “But moreover, I discovered, in the only way that a man ever really learns anything important, the real skill that is required to succeed in a bureaucracy. I mean really succeed: do good, make a difference, serve. I discovered the key. This key is not efficiency, or probity, or insight, or wisdom. It is not political cunning, interpersonal skills, raw IQ, loyalty, vision, or any of the qualities that the bureaucratic world calls virtues, and tests for. The key is a certain capacity that underlies all these qualities, rather the way that an ability to breathe and pump blood underlies all thought and action.

    “The underlying bureaucratic key is the ability to deal with boredom. To function effectively in an environment that precludes everything vital and human. To breathe, so to speak, without air.

    “The key is the ability, whether innate or conditioned, to find the other side of the rote, the picayune, the meaningless, the repetitive, the pointlessly complex. To be, in a word, unborable.

    “It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.”

    ― David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

  2. anne

    “Boredom is creative or rather, boredom leads to creativity” For you, maybe.

    Not everybody does well with excessive boredom – it depends on the circumstances.

    • anne

      like to add this,.. cause boredom can turn into depression or worse

      A good therapist or coach or spiritual teacher can help.


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