Walking meditation? What could it be? You know of sitting meditation. But, what is this new one?
Nothing too complicated here. It’s pretty straightforward. Walking meditation is a form of meditation done while walking. Yes, it’s that simple. But there is, of course, more to it.
To find out, you must keep reading. There is life-changing information below, and you don’t want to miss it.
What Is Walking Meditation?
Remember all those times you went for a walk to clear your head and came back refreshed? What do you think that was? The practice of walking is naturally meditative, and if you add meditation to it, there is nothing like it.
Walking meditation is meditation in action. It brings the meditative experience to your walking activity and doubles the benefits by clubbing those of walking and meditation.
In walking meditation, your focus is on the experience of walking. The experience of observing the way you move while you walk by alternating steps with your left and right feet is profoundly meditative.
Walking meditation is an art that teaches you to be aware as you walk and be mindful of the natural movement of your walking.
The great Gautama Buddha himself first taught walking meditation. He taught to feel present with every step you take. And, if you do, the process becomes healing and nourishing and helps you develop gratitude and love towards the earth.
By now, you must be immensely curious to find out how walking meditation works. We won’t keep you waiting anymore. The procedure is right below. Have a look.
Walking Meditation – A Guide
Simple walking won’t do. You need definitive instructions to go about walking meditation. We jotted down a simple procedure for you to begin with. Check it out.
- Find A Good Location
- Take The Right Pauses
- Be Aware Of Each Step
- Maintain An Appropriate Speed
- Position Your Hands And Arms
- Balance Your Focus
1. Find A Good Location
An ideal location is essential. Choose a lane or pathway that doesn’t have elements that might hinder your practice. It is best to avoid a busy road or a bustling lane because that will be too much to take, at least initially.
A place where you can go back and forth for 10 to 20 steps would be suitable. It could be indoors or out in nature, but make sure it is relatively empty because slow walking might garner unnecessary attention from those who are not aware of it.
2. Take The Right Pauses
Walking with no sequence won’t do. You need to form a pattern and stick to it. This way, your mind and body are accustomed to a certain way, and it becomes easier for you focus on it until it happens on its own without much effort.
So, you walk a certain number of paces. Say, 20 to 40 paces up to a point and pause there. Stand and breathe there until you feel like moving and walk back the same number of paces and break to breathe again. Go back and forth like this until you get used to the pattern.
3. Be Aware Of Each Step
Observing each step that you take is as important as following a particular pattern of walking. There are individual components while you walk that you need to watch and be aware of in walking meditation that you otherwise don’t notice at all as they happen naturally.
Simple movements like being aware of lifting your foot, taking it forward, placing it on the ground, and feeling the touch of the ground on your feet are important. The same way, you must also notice how the weight of the body shifts onto the other leg, and the same procedure continues.
4. Maintain An Appropriate Speed
Walk as if you have no destination to reach. Walk calmly. Maintain a pace that feels natural and not exaggerated or stylized. Keep it slow and steady.
Then, there is better scope to observe your movements intricately and, in the process, build better awareness of your body.
We suggest you keep your pace slow and take smaller steps for a better experience.
5. Position Your Hands And Arms
When you go for a mindful walk, you are not sure how to place your hands and arms. You wonder if you have to leave them the way they are when you take a walk or position them in a particular manner.
Well, there are many ways of doing it. Choose whatever works best for you. You can keep them clasped behind your back or in the front or leave them hanging on the sides.
6. Balance Your Focus
When you walk, it is important to focus either on the sensations you feel inside your body or something particularly interesting you notice during the walk.
Observe your body and how it moves while you take each step. Feel your breath as it goes in and out. Or notice the manner in which the leaves of a tree sway in tandem with the breeze.
As you try to focus, the mind is sure to waver from time to time. The only solution for this is to refocus and keep going.
Now, let’s understand how walking meditation differs from sitting meditation.
Difference Between Sitting And Walking Meditation
- Walking meditation requires you to keep your eyes open whereas, in sitting meditation, you are usually advised to keep your eyes closed.
- Walking meditation does not require you to withdraw your attention from the outside world as much as sitting meditation does.
- In walking meditation, it is easier to observe the sensations in your body compared to sitting meditation. In sitting meditation, since there is no motion, the sensations are more subtle.
- Walking meditation can easily be adapted to day to day activities like walking to the door of your house from the parking spot. Whereas, sitting meditation does not have any scope to do so.
Now, let’s find out the benefits of walking meditation.
Benefits Of Walking Meditation
- The walking meditation experience connects you more to your surroundings. You will begin to notice the little details and be conscious of them.
- It opens up your head to new perspectives and ideas.
- Walking meditation improves your concentration and helps you stay in the moment.
- It improves your health and well-being.
- Walking meditation helps you to be mindful in your daily activities.
Let’s answer some common queries on walking meditation now.
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Can I walk at any place to experience walking meditation?
Experiencing walking meditation at any location will be difficult for a beginner. For example, a noisy road would involve too many elements to give attention to, marring the concept of meditation.
How long should I practice walking meditation?
Practice walking meditation for at least 10 minutes every day.
Meditation in any form is good. When you combine it with walking, there is nothing like it. Walking is a major part of daily life. And, it could only mean more meditation if you decide to practice walking meditation whenever possible. So, walk the meditation and relish the absolute freshness that comes with it.
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