How To Do Walking Meditation?
Ever heard about walking meditation? Meditation is not always about stillness. Walking meditation can be as deep as meditation done while sitting. Walking meditation brings in the meditative experience into out activity. Though there are several different kinds of walking meditation, the variation explained in this post is easy and informal. A natural meditative state can be created when one alternates steps with the left and right foot.
Becoming aware of your walk is a tremendously rich experience! The body just loves movement. If you pay attention to how it feels, it will reward you with pleasure. Our minds are constantly occupied thinking and imagining various things. By paying attention to your body will enable you to enjoy the present and being alive! Do you know it is easier to pay attention to your body while in motion? This is one major advantage of walking meditation.
Where should you be doing walking meditation and when?
Walking meditation is best to be done outdoors. It is recommended to set aside a minimum of 20 mins for this meditation. Don’t combine it with brisk walking or other purposes. Give walking meditation your undivided attention so that you can sink in the experience well!
How to go about it?
Before beginning to walk spend a while standing still. Allow yourself to be aware of your body. Take a few deep breaths and pay your complete attention on your breathing. Then allow it to come back to its normal pace and notice it for a little while. Now your awareness needs to be brought to your body, you should notice how your body feels while standing, start becoming aware of all the sensations happening in your body.
Start walking at a relaxed, slightly slow but a normal pace. As you walk pay attention to the sensations in the body. It is quite natural to get distracted by the sights around you again and again but you have to bring back your attention to what is happening internally.
The chief idea is to bring your attention to the physical walking experience. When certain thoughts pop up in the mind, bring your attention back to your walking experience. As you walk pay attention to how your body feels in detail. The entire body should be in the act of walking, right from alternating your left and right foot to swinging of the arms.
Pay attention to how the various parts of your body feel while walking
When you get aware of how your soles make contact with the socks or shoes it is a different feeling. Notice the fabric texture touching them, the way they feel while bearing your body weight and the sensations in them as you walk. Notice the entire foot, how it feels while it moves when the heel of your foot is placed on the ground and when the movement rolls to the toes and ball of the foot. Pay attention to how it feels when the foot is lifted and moved forward. Let your awareness move up through every body part while walking. Scan all the body parts gradually; bring your attention to the ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, pelvis, back, chest, shoulders, arms, neck and head.
If you happen to feel tension in any part of your body, allow that part to relax. Allow your complete body to relax. You can scan your whole body in a random way by moving your awareness from one part to another. It is important to keep your awareness on the body’s sensations, bring it back when the mind starts wandering.
A variation: Your attention should be kept on the rhythm of walking i.e. the alternation of the left and right foot. Notice the experience of walking in left-right-left motion. When the mind wanders, bring your awareness back to the walking rhythm.
Want to try walking meditation?
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