Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation

You must be aware of the many health benefits of walking but what if this basic form of human physical activity was to be combined with meditation. Yes, walking meditation is a thing. A bit of a wonder practice to give a try.

You might have this image of meditation done in a cross legged seated position, but walking meditation is a form of meditation in action.

Walking meditation also known as mindful walking is rather an active practice that involves conscious awareness and movement in the environment rather than sitting down with eyes closed. It is a simple and comfortable form of meditation practice that can be particularly valuable for beginners or anyone who prefers a more active form of meditation.

Walking Meditation can be practiced regularly, before or after sitting meditation or anytime on its own after a busy day at work or on a lazy Sunday morning. Even walking to and from your car, while walking down the street or while going shopping can be an opportunity for a few minutes of walking meditation. It can be easily integrated in our schedule since walking is something that most of us do every day.

Isn’t walking meditation a superb way to health? In fact, it’s an easier way to start with meditation. Let’s find out more about this meditation practice that is contrary to the usual seated meditation.

What Is Walking Meditation?

The art of walking meditation is to be aware as you walk. It is more than a simple stroll in the park. The walking meditation technique uses the natural movement of walking to cultivate mindfulness and wakeful presence. It is usually done in much slower steps than regular normal walks. Walking meditation has its origin in Buddhism. Meditation while walking is a good practice for beginners and even advanced practitioners.

The Science Of Walking Meditation

Walking is a simple and universal practice for developing calm, connectedness and embodied awareness. Walking meditation can give all the benefits of a mindful meditation. Inclusion of meditation with walking practice helps the mind get away from distractions and give a better clarity of things. Unlike seated meditation, in walking meditation our eyes are open, the body is standing and moving, and there is interaction with the outside world. The movement of the body makes it easier to be mindful of the body sensations in the present moment.

How To Practice Walking Meditation?

For your first attempt you can find a park or an open space to be able walk for 20 minutes without interruption. You can practice at home first and gradually extend your mindful walking in an informal way whenever

  1. First select a peaceful place, indoors or outdoors, where you can walk comfortably back and forth. The length should be about ten to thirty paces. 

  2. Stand at one end of this walking path with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Let your hands rest wherever they are comfortable.  

  3. Open your senses to see and feel the whole surroundings.

  4. After one minute, return your attention to focus on the body. Feel how your body is standing on the ground. 

  5. Feel the pressures on your feet and the other sensations of standing. Let yourself be present and alert.

  6. Begin to walk more slowly than usual. Relax and let your steps be easy and natural as if you were out for a stroll. 

  7. Pay attention to your body. Notice how your body feels when your feet touch the ground, when arms and your legs move.

  8. Inevitably, you can expect thoughts to distract your attention. It’s natural. When you notice your mind wandering, simply notice them and return your attention to those sensations.

Walking Meditation Benefits:- 

Mindful walking can bring a host of benefits compared with its seated counterparts. Here are some of the many walking meditation benefits.

  1. Walking meditation boosts blood circulation, especially to the legs. It is often used by people who sit for long hours, if we’re feeling a bit dull or if we’ve been sitting in a meditative pose.

  2. It gives us an opportunity to connect more deeply with the environment. We are being mindful of the earth beneath our feet which sustains us, the air flowing in and out of the lungs, the sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes that we experience as we walk.

  3. Walking meditation after dinner is a great way to improve digestion, especially if you’re feeling heavy or full. It helps the food to move through your digestive system and may also help in constipation.

  4. It also helps in reducing anxiety. When combined with meditation walking is more effective in alleviating symptoms of anxiety.

  5. Buddhist walking meditation strengthens concentration. Unlike seated meditation that is practiced in a quiet surrounding, mindful walking takes place in an environment filled with potential distractions such as weather, birds, insects, etc. vying for your attention. As each of these distractions come into your awareness, you repeatedly bring yourself back to the present moment and the practice of mindful walking. The continuous drift of attention and its coming back strengthens the mind’s ability to remain focused on the task at hand.

Building the habit of walking meditation will give you all the benefits of mindfulness meditation, but your body is more active. It’s an excellent way to engage all your physical senses much more.


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