The Art of Walking Meditation
by Farzana Rahman
This article talks about walking meditation and the art of mindful walking.
Mediating Whilst Walking
Who knew that you could meditate whilst walking ? I didn’t.
The first time I practiced walking meditation was in a group setting. We walked in silence down a busy street, single file as though we were on a silent school trip.
It was somewhat awkward and we got more than a few puzzled looks from passers-by. It was little like being part of the world’s most disappointing flash mob.
But despite a rocky start I’ve realized that walking meditation can actually be really helpful! I am still not a fan of practicing in a group but find it helpful when I’m alone.
It can be a good way to clear your head on days when you’re mind is racing. It’s particularly useful if you find sitting meditations difficult. It’s also a useful way to bring a moment or two of mindfulness into your day.
What is Walking Meditation ?
The point of a walking meditation is to learn to be aware as you walk. Sounds simple right ? Except that most of us walk on autopilot, checking phones, listening to music or going through our to-do list. The point of a walking meditation is to use the natural movement of walking to cultivate mindfulness.
You can practice it as little or often as you like. A quick couple of minutes on the way somewhere or a longer walk when you have more time.
Ten Tips to Help you Practice Walking Meditation
1. Select a space where you can either walk uninterrupted such as in a park, or a small space where you can walk back and forth.
2. Make an intention before you begin. It can be something simple like a word or image. The point is to try to bring yourself to the present moment.
3. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, wiggle your toes in your shoes and feel all four corners of your feet. Put your hands wherever they are comfortable.
4. Take notice of your surroundings. Go through each of your senses (sight, smell, touch, sound, taste) and check in with each. What can you see and hear ? Do you notice any sensations ?
5. Bring your attention to your breath and start to take notice of your breathing. Pay attention to the inhale and exhale as you breathe in and out.
6. Start to walk, taking a slower pace than usual. Relax you body, keeping your back relatively straight.
7. With each step, notice the sensation of lifting your foot and leg off the ground and placing it back down. Notice sensations such as pressure, any unevenness in the ground and the sound of each step.
8. Feel free to experiment with speed, you can walk more slowly or quickly at times. The key is to try to stay present.
9. Continue for as long as you can. You will find that your thoughts will start to wander. This is completely normal. As soon as you realize just make a note of the thought and go back to focusing on each step.
10. Rather than simply drifting out of the meditation, intentionally stop the practice.
Use the practice whenever you want to calm and collect yourself. You can use the principles throughout your day.
We’ll be writing through other ways you can meditate in our upcoming posts. Subscribe to stay upto date !
Tags: meditation, walking meditation, mindful walking