Walking meditation is a simple practice that helps us to become grounded, calm and aware. When we walk in meditation, we can notice the sensations in our bodies, the feeling of the ground under our feet, and we can feel free and happy in each and every step.
We can practice walking meditation after sitting meditation, to keep our bodies relaxed, comfortable and wakeful. In Zen temples, monks and nuns will often break up their long periods of sitting with a period of walking meditation, maintaing their meditation minds while moving the body, this keeps the body healthy and prepares it for the next period of sitting meditation.
The wonderful thing about walking meditation is that you can practice it any time you are walking. Even if you are only walking from your house to your car, you can take each step slowly, mindfully and in peace.
The Method of Walking Meditation
- Walk Slowly. To walk slowly is not only to control the speed of the steps, but also to be mindful of slowing down the mind. Slow walking allows the mind to be led to a feeling of spaciousness.
- Maintain calm balance. Let your attention flow deep into your lower abdomen, hips, legs and feet. Relax your pelvis, as though you had just mounted a horse. Feel your connection to the earth.
- Walk in the present moment. Arrive with each step in the present moment, each moment is a new moment.
- Simply be. With no thought of "I" or "getting somewhere" other than right where you are. If your mind wanders into thoughts of past or future, simply notice it and come back to your next step.