Walking is something we do every day. But have you ever really paid much attention to the process? By using walking meditation you can become mindful and aware of your walking. You can use this as a helpful meditation practice. Walking meditation helps you stay in the moment by focusing on your steps. Shifting your focus to the way your feet touch the ground, keeps you aware and in the moment.
Where Can You Do Walking Meditation?
You can try these techniques just about anywhere, in the park, on a hiking trail or on the beach. It’s all about your state of mind. You should set aside some time to just focus on this meditation.
Starting Your Walking Meditation
- The first step is to stand up. Stand tall and breath. Take a few large in breaths and out breaths. Feel yourself grounded to the earth. Allow your body to relax. Become aware of how your whole body feels. Notice any sensations throughout your body. Just try this for a few moments.
- Now start walking. Walk at a normal pace. Try to focus on the sensation of walking. Feel your feet touch the ground. Notice how your knees move between each step. Do you swing your arms when you walk? If you do, put some attention to that sensation. Become fully aware of walking.
- Thoughts may be tempted to come into your head. If they do, do not allow them to take over your mind. Bring your attention back to you walking. Become aware of each step. How your toes and ankles feel. Pay attention to the muscles in your legs. What kind of sensations are you feeling?
- Allow your whole body to relax and enjoy the process of walking. If you feel tension in any part of your body let it go.
- Try walking like this for as long as you feel comfortable or until you are relaxed and present.
Other Walking Meditation Methods
There are several other methods of walking meditations you can try. Most are a variation on the first one I described.
- Try and slow down your walk to the basics. Breaking down each element of the process. Being mindful of each step, lift and sway. Pay close attention to the sensations of each movement. Almost like you are in slow motion. Become fully aware of all the sensations of the walking process. Allow the mind to be fully present and not stray away from your walking.
- Another variation is to walk with the awareness of where you are. You start by focusing on walking and then slowly become aware of your surroundings. Be fully present in where you are walking. For example, if you are in the woods on a hiking trail, pay close attention to the sounds and sights around you. Listen to the birds, wind, water or leaves. Become totally present in your walk and aware of the surroundings. Notice how you feel at that moment. Stay in the present. Don’t let your thoughts take you over.
Try it for yourself. Here is a book and an audio guide we recommend:
With Walking Meditation, you will enjoy the first in-depth instructional program in this serene spiritual practice to help you walk with presence and peace of mind whether in nature or on a busy city street. Walking Meditation features esteemed Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh along with one of his principle students, Nguyen Anh-Huong, as together they illuminate the central tenets of this powerful meditative art.
The body scan and walking meditation are ancient body-centered concentration techniques that can increase your ability to move easily into the state of meditation. Whether you’re seeking clarity of mind or a greater sense of inner awareness, let Bhavani’s simple, clear instructions guide you to your desired meditation destination.
Feature image courtesy of hinnamsaisuy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Walking meditation is a great alternative to sitting meditation. It gets you moving and allows you to experience the sensation of walking. By using these walking meditation methods, you can relax the whole mind and body. With all of these methods, try and take that relaxed feeling with you throughout the day. I bet you will never look at walking the same way again!