Walking Meditation demonstrates that meditating doesn’t always have to be done in a quiet, dark room where you have no distractions.
Sometimes, meditating can be done while doing other activities, such as when you are going for your daily walk, or when you are on a bus. With walking meditation, you are exercising your body and mind.
Here are a few things to know about Walking Meditation
Reasons to Meditate While You Walk
When you are walking, it is actually a perfect time to do some meditating. While walking, you are not only spending time alone with few distractions, but you are more focused on the activity, and on the fresh air if you are outdoors.
You can focus and concentrate a little better, but not in a way that you are trying to think about stressful things. It is a way of focusing on nothing and just clearing your mind.
Whether you do a 5-minute walking meditation around your neighborhood or start going on hikes or walking down the beach, it can be a calming experience for you.
Walking Meditation – Tips For Getting Started
In order to start walking meditation, naturally you need to get moving. Choose a time and place where you will be able to walk alone and won’t have distractions. You may find that your mind clears better when walking around a lake or pond near your house, or just when walking down the quiet streets in your own neighborhood.
Others find that they can meditate better when going on a nice hike or walking through the mountains. Once you have decided where to walk, you will then need to find a way, the right method, to truly clear your mind.
This can either be by listening to the sounds of nature around you, listening to soothing music, or even listening to guided meditation while you walk.
Thich Nhat Hanh – Walking Meditation Video
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Walking Meditation – ‘Thinks’ to Remember
Before you get started, here are some things you should remember with walking meditation.
Keep a slower pace – If the sole purpose of your walk is for meditation, try to keep a slower pace. That way, you aren’t focused on the walking itself, but just using it as a way to get some quiet time for yourself.
Stay off busy and crowded streets – Safety is also a factor. Unless you have no choice, try not to walk on busy streets, streets with many stoplights, or crowded, very busy, areas. You don’t want to be distracted by others, or have to wait for a light to turn green just to walk across the street. On the other hand, you can also turn this into a meditation by reflecting on modern society.
But generally, you are trying to turn inward, invoking a sense of calmness for your body, mind and spirit.
Bring sustenance – It is not uncommon for your meditation walking to take a bit longer than you anticipated. When you are meditating while walking, you will have a tendency to get so relaxed, your body no longer feels tired or sore. If you get stuck a little far from home, you want to make sure you have some water and quick snack with you for the walk back.
I usually decide how far I am going to go in one direction, sometimes by blocks, sometimes by timing, 20 minutes in one direction, and then head back.
Pick a subject – Before heading out, pick out a piece of writing you want to contemplate. Or maybe you want to focus on your body, your breath, or maybe your surroundings, nature, trees, flowers….. And then there is ‘mindfulness’, watching your thoughts and gently re-directing them back into your meditation. Focus on walking itself, feel gravity, contemplate on the amazing fact you are walking, how it all pieces together.
Remember there is no absolute correct way or form of walking meditation, but it is important to steadily focus on your main idea and not be distracted when doing your walking meditation.