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The Ultimate Guide to Walking Meditation

Introduction

Walking meditation is a complement to the sitting meditation style. It is a beginner-friendly style and hence easy to do. It has similar benefits to that of the seated meditation style. The only difference lies in the approach. It is a part of many traditions, such as Buddhism, Daoism, etc., since ancient times.

In this article, we will discuss the definition, benefits, and types of walking meditation.

The ultimate guide to walking meditation

The ultimate guide to walking meditation

Definition of Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is entirely different from your regular walk. You walk slowly than normal walk and focus on your breathing. It is more of a meditation than walking.

In this style of meditation, your eyes are open, the body is moving, and you have an interaction with the outside world. Since your body is moving, your mind remains in the present state and focus on the body sensations. For this reason, you might find it easy to do as compared to the sitting meditation style.

Walking Meditation Guidelines

Here are a few guidelines you must follow irrespective of the style of walking meditation you choose to do:

Place: You can practice walking meditation in your backyard also. But, if you prefer doing it outside, then select a place that is away from high traffic, is less populated, slightly narrow, and safe. It is necessary to avoid distractions from the surroundings and focus your mind.

Duration: Practice it for at least 20 minutes. You are moving and do not feel the discomfort of sitting practice. So, you can do it for a longer duration.

Walking speed: Do not walk fast. Do it slowly and maintain a constant speed. If your mind is not able to focus, then walk slowly, till you can stay in the present moment and focus on each step.

Attention: Before beginning, spend a few minutes standing and doing deep breathing exercises.

Your feet should be hip-width apart and weight evenly balanced on both feet. Be in a stable state with the ground. Take deep breaths, and with your eyes closed, experience the sensations that take place in your body starting from the feet.

Style: There are many types of standing meditations. Choose the one that suits you the most.

Ability to re-focus: Walking meditation is no different from the seated one when it comes to losing your focus during the session. So, whenever your mind starts wandering, try to bring back your attention to walking and breathing. Enjoy the process by being in the present.

Benefits of Walking Meditation

  • Your mind’s ability to focus increases, and that has a positive effect on your daily activities.
  • While doing seated meditation of longer duration, sometimes you feel lethargic whereas, walking meditation help to overcome it and replenish your body.
  • The best time to do walking meditation is after meals, upon waking up, or after a long session of sitting meditation. Sometimes it is more relaxing than sitting meditation. Another benefit is that it strengthens the body and build up stamina. It also helps to fight anxiety and stress disorders.

Types of Walking Meditation

Theravada – It is an essential part of Buddhist traditional mental training and lifestyle. The monks develop concentration by walking long hours. The duration of waking can go up to fifteen hours per day.

Zen or Kinhin - In Japanese tradition, you do it by moving in a room in a clockwise direction with a specific posture. It is done between the sitting meditation sessions.

Thich Nhat Hanh – Vietnamese monk simplified the walking meditation style in modern Buddhist practice. It uses the power of positive affirmations to produce a focused mental state.

Mindfulness – It is a form of traditional Buddhist meditation. In this, you experience the various sensations while walking and keep yourself engaged in the process.

Daoist – It is a part of Chinese tradition where some focus on physical health, some use visualization techniques to calm the mind, and some do it in a freeform manner.

Conclusion

Walking meditation is used in various traditions and spiritual practices as a means to improve physical health and train the mind.

So, which style should you practice?

If you are not practicing walking meditation, then you can experiment and select a style according to your needs.

Have you ever practiced walking meditation?

If yes, share your views in the comments below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Preeti Shah

Comments

Preeti Shah (author) from Delhi on December 04, 2020:

Thank you Sir.

Preeti Shah (author) from Delhi on December 04, 2020:

Thank you so much!

Adrienne Farricelli on December 04, 2020:

I like the idea of doing meditation walking and it's so interesting to see that there are various versions of it.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 03, 2020:

Good work Preeti. Keep it up. God bless you.

Preeti Shah (author) from Delhi on December 03, 2020:

Thanks Amit for writing a positive comment.

It motivates me to keep writing articles that help people.

Amit Masih from Jaipur, India on December 03, 2020:

Such beautiful information! It will definitely help us in our meditation life. Always love to read your articles. Looking forward to the next one…

Preeti Shah (author) from Delhi on December 03, 2020:

Thanks Vikram.

I am happy that you find it interesting.

Yes, this is a different from usual meditation style.

Vikram Brahma from Assam, India on December 03, 2020:

Oh, my friend, I was not aware of this form of meditation. But I think I use them often, unknowingly. Regarding Theravada form of meditation, I am surprised to know that they walk for fifteen hours. WoW!. Thanks for sharing such information.