The benefits of meditation are many and there are different types of meditation to suit every individual’s needs. For those who love walking and natural scenery, walking meditation is the recommended form of meditation. There is no special prop required for walking meditation (cushion and singing bowl etc).
Walking meditation is mindful meditation in motion and a perfect complement to the usual seated meditation practice. Walking meditation is also great for beginners since walking is a familiar and necessary part of everyday life.
Walking meditation is not just about strolling, it is about being mindful as much as possible while we are walking. It is about being aware of our bodies and physical sensations as we move. Our bodies and minds are rooted in the present moment.
When you are practising walking meditation, you should imagine and visualize yourself as imprinting peace, serenity and happiness on the ground as you walk. That way, it also uplifts your spirit, soul, mind and body psychologically at the same time because when you visualize positive feelings and emotions, the result will be a return of the very same feelings and emotions; thereby helping you to release stress and negative feelings as well as emotions.
Here is how you can get started on walking meditation:
Choosing Your Meditation Spot
1. Before you start, look for a location where you can walk slowly and quietly without obstacles. The location needs to be devoid of traffic and ideally, the ground should be flat enough without worrying about falls.
If you are walking in a public space, you will need to take care not to get in the way of others. Alternatively, you can do it indoors and it is a good option to help you stay more focused on mindfulness than get distracted by your surroundings when practising outside.
Starting Your Walk Of Mindfulness
2. After you have found a suitable spot for walking meditation, you can begin each session by anchoring yourself. Take a minute to breathe deeply as you bring your full attention to your body. Wind down and focus on how stable the ground feels beneath your feet, sensing the many and varied sensations within your body. Take note of your thoughts and feelings too.
Start walking slowly. In walking meditation, the focus should be on the movement of your feet and legs as well as the motion of your body instead of your breath. As you walk slowly and mindfully in a circle or back and forth, turning a corner etc, be as mindful as you can of the position of your feet and the accompanying feelings, thoughts and sensations.
An advisable duration will be to walk for at least 10 minutes. Walk at your own pace and do not rush. You can always take a break and stretch or simply stop moving with the natural flow of things.
Maintaining A State Of Mindfulness
3. As you sense and observe the various sensations as you walk, do take note of the feelings and thoughts that come into play as well. Just note them mentally as they arise and there is no need to analyze, accept or reject them at all. Remember to maintain a state of mindfulness as you walk. Most importantly, walk naturally with an open mind and heart as you go with the flow.
Speed And Posture
4. The pace of walking meditation can range from slow to extremely slow. You can do whatever you feel comfortable with as you walk – letting your hands and arms swing loosely by your sides, clasping them in front of your body or holding them behind your back.
Your body should be relaxed as you walk, moving in a natural and comfortable manner. Walk with poise, keeping your body posture upright and aligned. It might prove challenging for starters but with practice, you will definitely get the hang of walking meditation!
In summary, walking meditation helps you to sharpen your senses for mindfulness in everyday life so even when challenging situations suddenly arise, you can be in a state of calmness anywhere and anytime.