How To Do Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation is a little bit simpler than walking. It may take more effort at first, but once you get into the habit, it is a refreshing way to do two things at once by doing only one thing at a time.

To do walking meditation, you walk. You can walk around your zendo or around your living room. You can walk indoors or outdoors. You can walk in parks or in malls. You can walk along busy city streets our secluded nature trails. The point is not where you walk, but how you walk.

As in sitting meditation, in walking meditation, focus your attention on your breath and posture. Walk with your back straight, your head level, looking slightly down to the ground about six feet in front of you. Unlike in sitting meditation, in walking meditation it is important to keep your eyes open. You need to see where you are going. Your arms and hands can be wherever it is comfortable for you. They can hang at your sides, joined together at your navel, clasped behind your back, or they can swing with you strides. Do what suits you. It’s the same with your pace. You can walk slowly or quickly. Measure your meditation either in time or distance.

The important part of walking mediation is what you do with your attention. You may count your steps or your breaths from one to ten as you walk. Let your attention move between your breath, steps and posture. If you count your steps, count one for right, two for left, three for right and so on. Feel the ground as each foot lands, rolls and leaves the ground. Feel how each leg takes on and gives up your weight. Lightly notice your breathing as you walk. When you get to ten and return back to one, check your posture to see if your back is still straight.  When you notice yourself thinking, bring your attention back to your step count. Release the thought without judging it. Bring your attention back to your feet.

Walking meditation is useful when sitting meditation is hard or when you need an interval break from a long sitting meditation. It can be done as you walk your dog, with a friend, or alone. It can be done as you get up from your desk to go to the bathroom at work. It can be used to clear your head whenever you are walking in your normal routine. It can be done completely inconspicuously in public as nobody will be able to see what you are doing with your mind as you walk. Practicing walking meditation is also a way to help your meditation practice spread through your life. When you regularly practice walking meditation, you may also notice yourself practicing eating mediation, laundry meditation, driving mediation and so on. That’s all there is to it, no thinking, just walking. Step, step, step…

 

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