A Walking Meditation
There are many different ways you can meditate. I used to think meditating was easy, it just meant sitting for hours in silence. But I discovered that there were a lot of styles and formats you can choose from. The most important decision to take is that you stick with it. Whatever method you choose, and what time you give yourself. Some days I only do 10 minutes, but I never put any pressure on myself to do more.
One of the most useful and grounding ways is the practice of walking meditation. Walking meditation is a simple way for developing calm, connectedness, and awareness. It can be practiced regularly, even in bad weather. Try to pick a safe place with plenty of space, like a large park or field.
The art of walking meditation is to learn to be aware as you walk, to use the natural movement of walking to help you with mindfulness and wakeful presence. Walking meditation is sometimes called kinhin in the Zen tradition. You need to move slowly and continuously while being aware of both your body and your mind. And you need to experience the motions of the body.
Walking meditation is simply mindful walking. Make sure that each step that you take, that you are fully present in that moment and with all of your being. You will find that walking meditation instills in you a quiet sense of peace. There are 3 major walking meditation techniques to remember.
- Counting your steps. This is similar to counting your breath, and is the easiest walking meditation technique. Start by counting each step (left 1, right 2, left 3) until you get to 10. You need to match your steps to your breath.
- Following your steps.This is the natural progression of counting your steps and is just slightly more difficult. You need to follow the movement of your left foot from the time you begin lifting the foot, and as you swing it forward, and then as you place it back down again. Then the same with the right foot.
- Simply walking as you do in everyday life.This is a really simple practice whilst at the same time the most advanced walking meditation technique. You’ll be concentrated on your steps, and your awareness should be open and welcoming.
Whatever level you choose, as you are walking you will find that as thoughts, feelings, sensations, and even sometimes outside distractions come into focus, just gently acknowledge them non-judgmentally. You’re just noticing them. Not judging them so that you can observe them clearly, and then shift your focus back to your breath.
What about you, have you discovered meditation yet? And if so, what is your preferred method? It would be good to hear what you think about what I like. Tell me what you think by posting your comments below. Why don’t you Share this with your friends and family by clicking the Facebook icon or following us on Twitter?
About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.