5.10.2013

Mind & Body Wellness: How to Do Walking Meditation

walking meditation buddhism mindfulness relaxation happiness
walking meditation

I have arrived, I am home
In the here, in the now
I am solid, I am free
In the ultimate, I dwell.

Walking Meditation (10 – 30 Minutes)

  1. Walking meditation is literally “watching your step.”
  2. Periods of sitting meditation are often broken up with walking.
  3. Walking can be a connection point between meditation and daily life because you are not passively sitting.
  4. During formal walking meditation, you focus on the footfall as a whole; or isolated movements of the motion such as shifting, moving, placing, shifting. The step is your anchor.
  5. Steps can be combined with focusing on the breath.
  6. You can use labels such as “stepping” or “left, right” which helps anchor you to walking instead of looking at your surroundings. You can also break it down into “lifting, moving, and placing.”
  7. You are not walking to go anywhere. Your body is taking you on a walk.
  8. Typically you walk back and forth in a lane or around in a loop. This keeps your mind from having to navigate a specific route.
  9. Keep your eyes cast downward without looking at anything in particular.
  10. The challenge is to be with your one step and your one breath.
  11. Your pace can be slow or brisk.
  12. Notice each step as it comes and be fully present with it.
  13. Feel the sensations of walking in your feet, legs, hips, arms, and shoulders.
  14. When your thoughts, feelings, and sensations distract you from the present moment, come back to noticing your step and breath.
  15. Appreciate that you have the physical ability to walk.
  16. Walk with dignity and confidence connecting with the earth beneath your feet.
  17. You may also try informal walking meditation, which is walking mindfully on the street, at work, or out in nature.
  18. Always keep coming back to your body and each moment.

To have me facilitate a workshop or retreat on meditation and mindfulness, visit my Web site by clicking here. 

Adapted from Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.



2 comments:

  1. Beth, can one do this without realizing it ( meaning that its a meditation walk)? I usually walk alone and this is what I do naturally because I am alone...or am I just weird? lol.. I do look down and I will pace my breathing w/each step- kinda like rhythmic ,if u know what I mean.

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    1. For me, I believe it happens both ways. There is this one kind that is very disciplined, deliberate and focused, which is actually rather tedious, and I find challenging, and than the other kind which is what you're speaking about. I'm pretty flexible in my beliefs on meditation and think both the disciplined version and this natural one that just happens unconsciously have wonderful benefits. My philosophy is always do what comes most naturally to you for ultimately its just a way to come back to our most fluent, relaxed, and empty state of mind.

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