Most people think of meditation as something you have to sit perfectly still to do. But walking meditation requires, well, walking.
Your body’s movement is the focus of your total concentration during walking meditation. The purpose is to build your mindfulness muscle as you pay attention to the sensations of your body in action.
It’s best to do walking meditations outside, but if all you have is a living room, that will work too. Like sitting meditation, walking meditation is simple, but not necessarily easy. Although most people find walking meditation easier because there’s something specific to focus your mind on, you’ll still find your thoughts wandering if you are new to meditation.
How to do Walking Meditation
1. Pleasing Please
Find a place and a time when you won’t be disturbed or interrupted. Some place that’s pleasing to you, like a beach, garden or beautiful indoor space is best.
2. Stand Tall
Stand straight and relaxed. It’s best to be barefoot if you can. Take a few deep breaths relax your body, and to calm and focus your mind.
3.The First Step
With your eyes always open, begin to walk very slowly, a single step at a time.
Bring all of your attention to the sensations in your body as you move. Observe the feeling of your weight shifting to one side. Notice how it feels to lift one foot off the ground. Sense the rotation movement in your hip as your leg moves forward. Feel the way the bottom of your foot meets the floor.
5. No Judgement
Notice the sensations without judging. Is the ground warm or cold, smooth, rough, powdery? Just notice.
6. Return to the Movement
Keep breathing smoothly and when your mind wanders, gently bring it back to intense focus on the movement in your body.
Continue for 5-20 minutes or until you feel a stillness and tranquility of mind.
Remember that as with all meditation practices, it takes time to be able to maintain a state of mindfulness for long periods. So when you begin, you may want to aim for only five minutes, then build up to 20 or more over the course of a few weeks.
If you have experience with a Walking Meditation, we want to hear from you! And if you’ve never tried it, please do and leave a comment here to let us know how it goes!