A Guide to Walking Meditation
For those, who find it difficult to sit still while meditating, there is another kind of meditation which they can follow. Known as walking meditation, it is simply meditation in action. Here, as opposed to the sitting meditation, walking is the focus and we also keep our eyes open during this. The advantages of this are that it is easier to be aware of aware of your body while it is in motion as compared to sitting still. Also you won’t have to take out some time especially for this as a walk from the car to the market nearby can allow you to practice it.
Here are the steps that you can follow for this
Firstly find a pathway which is about thirty to forty feet long and then just walk back and forth. When you reach the end of your path, stop, turn around, stop again and then start again. While walking keep your eyes down without looking at anything in particular.
Once you walk back and forth on the same path, you will know the route and you will know where there is some obstruction like for instance a rock. It will also give you a sense of ease as you will find a pace you are comfortable with. For instance, when your mind is calm and alert, you may feel like walking slowly.
After you find a sense of ease, be attentive of your body and focus on your feet and lower legs. Just like in sitting meditation, focus is on breathing, in walking meditation, focus is on the feet and their alternate stepping. Also take a note of your state of mind. How are you feeling? And notice your emotions as well. Do you feel angry if someone comes too close to you while passing by or are you anxious about your work, some pending project? Once you become aware of your present mental and emotional state, your ability to focus on the moment will strengthen.
As you walk, feel the sensations of your steps and feel how the legs and feet tense as you lift your leg. Feel the foot’s contact with the ground and whenever you feel as if your mind has wandered, bring it back to the movements of your feet and leg.
Let go of everything else and focus completely on your walk. There is a possibility that you may come across something beautiful while walking and if you can’t let go of it or find it distracting, stop walking. Continue walking once you are done observing the thing that caught your fancy.
Since we spend more time walking as opposed to sitting still with our eyes closed, this may be better technique which can help you to stay active, be more mindful and enable you to concentrate more on the daily, routine activities.
Advantages of walking meditation
- It will build your stamina to undertake long journeys.
- It will increase your stamina for the practice of meditation as the effort you’ll have to put in will be doubled. Apart from the usual mechanical effort required to lift your foot, you will also need to make some amount of mental effort to be aware of the movement.
- It helps the digestion process and walking after a meal will reduce the levels of drowsiness. Walking after you wake up in the morning will help you stay active and establish mindfulness.
- It also improves your concentration levels as your mind will be engaged in focusing on each section of the movement during your walking session.
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