Walking Meditation

May 28, 2010

Walking meditation is mindfulness in action. It’s a good alternative to sitting meditation, when possibly you are a bit agitated, or too tired after a hard day’s work, or simply when you have been doing a lot of sitting meditation and your legs need a stretch but you want to retain a meditative state of mind. It is a meditation that can be utilised in a variety of situations; walking in the forests, along a beach, through hills and mountains, or even walking on the way to and from work or college.

But traditionally it is a meditation which is properly practised in a more restricted, quiet area, where you are less likely to be disturbed by other people. This could be a secluded spot in the forests, in your garden, in a large room or hall, a quiet corner of a park, or anywhere you can find a straight path on a flat piece of ground and walk mindfully up and down. Alternatively you could walk continuously in a circle.

Depending on the weather conditions, and whether you are inside or outside, you can do this practice wearing comfortable shoes, or in bare feet.

Start standing on the spot. Become aware of your weight being transferred through the soles of the feet to the ground. Then begin to walk in the normal manner, at your usual, or maybe slightly slower than usual, pace. There is no need to change the way you walk.

Awareness of Body
First, keep the attention in the soles of the feet, being aware of the alternating patterns of contact and release. Be aware of all the different sensations in your feet as the soles contact the ground, and then as the foot lifts through the air. Feel the sensation of the stockings and shoes on your feet, or feel the touch of ground and air on your bare feet. Let your feet be as relaxed as you can. Notice the quality of the sensations in the joints of your feet and ankles. Ground your attention through your feet.

Then take your attention upwards through your lower legs, through the calf muscles and shins. Be aware of any contact with clothing, and the temperature of the skin. Be aware of the muscles working in the legs, releasing any tension you notice in the muscles.

Then, lift your attention to the knees, thighs and up into the hips and the area of the pelvis. Again notice feelings and movements in the joints and muscles, notice any contact with clothing, any changes in the temperature of the skin.

Take your attention into the lower back, feeling the sensations in the spine as you walk. Now turn your attention to the stomach, letting your awareness rise up through the chest, feeling the rise and fall of the chest with the breathing, to the shoulders. Let your arms simply hang by your sides and let them swing naturally. Feel the sensations of air flowing over the hands and skin as your arms swing through the air.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Maurizio says:

    Complimenti come viene trattato l’argomento. Spiegazioni semplici e comprensive. Leggendo l’argomento viene voglia di uscire di casa per fare una bella camminata nella natura.

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