I am a huge fan of walking meditations. I find them to be extremely easy to do and can be done anytime you are walking! This means you can get the benefits of meditation at times when it may not be practical to be sitting still in silence. Even a quick walk to the shop can be a chance to gain the benefits of meditation. It allows you to use these wasted times for personal development and growth. There is no excuse not to have enough time for mediation. How To Do Walking Meditation will explain what a walking meditation is, when to do them and how.
You can do a walking meditation almost any time you are walking or standing for a period of time.
What Is Walking Meditation?
Walking meditation is a meditation done while you are walking. While walking, you bring your awareness entirely into the present moment. You try and let go of any thoughts and judgements and be in the moment of present awareness. The emphasis is on the word present. The benefits of walking meditation are the same as other forms of meditation; relaxation, stress reduction, mental and emotional balance, self-development etc. Also, I find that a walking meditation helps indirectly experiencing oneness and helps raise vitality.
When Can You Do Walking Meditation?
You can do a walking meditation almost any time you are walking or standing for some time. Examples of this may be:
- walking to the shop,
- doing the washing up,
- walking to the bathroom at work,
- standing at the photocopy machine/printer at work,
- walking up the stairs,
- running errands,
- standing in any queue etc.
There are sometimes that are not appropriate to do walking meditation. These will likely be times when you are required to focus on something such as driving, cycling, operating machinery etc.
How To Do Walking Meditation
The key aspect of walking meditation is to ‘view’ what you are doing from a place of present awareness. With this in mind, do the following steps:
- Go for a walk or something from the list above.
- Actively make an intention to release and let go of any thoughts as soon as you start walking or a chosen activity. The intention is important so don’t skip this.
- Move your awareness to a place where you can ‘view’ what you are doing. This means that you are not thinking or judging, but rather are in present awareness.
- From this awareness take in your immediate surroundings such as colours, shapes, textures, air movement, smells etc.
- Don’t think about them, rather be in them. Experience them without attaching thought or labels to them.
- While being in the things you sense, place your focus on your breathing. You are aiming to be in your surroundings and yourself without fixing a thought or label to it.
- Your attention should only be in the present moment.
- Feel the oneness of your breath and your surroundings.
- Every time you take a step feel what that feels like such as pressure on your foot, the texture of the ground, the movement of air etc. Remember, do this from a ‘viewing’ present awareness.
- The more you practice, the easier this will become. You may find that within only a few minutes of walking you can fully connect with your surroundings and completely de-stress.
- When finished, allow your thoughts to return. Observe the difference from a present awareness perspective to a normal thinking perspective.
Also, you can also use walking meditation to identify any thoughts that may be coming up that could highlight areas that need your focus. Don’t think about the thoughts, acknowledge them and let them go. See where they have come up from and perhaps what may have triggered them. Once the mediation is complete, then revisit these thoughts and question further to better understand and release them.