Have you ever set out to walk somewhere and found yourself a few minutes later at your destination but with no real idea of how you got there? It is a very common thing that happens when we go down a path lost in thought. We can easily get lost in our thoughts that we forget to be present.
It’s not always a bad thing, it can be nice to let your mind wander while you walk, but sometimes that mental summoning is not productive, especially when they are negative.
Walking is very easy to do, even semi-consciously. We are moving our feet and our bodies but our minds are elsewhere, thinking about what to do next or worrying, analyzing, and imagining scenarios beyond the present.
This is where walking meditation comes in handy.
When you try walking meditation, you allow yourself to become one with the present.
Meditation is about experiencing the moment as it is. You are not in the past or the future, you are not lost in your mind. Instead, you are present and attentive.
Contrary to what you might think, it is possible to practice good meditation when you are moving, it does not always have to be about sitting in silence.
You can actually bring meditation or mindfulness into every single aspect of your life.
I particularly like walking meditations especially with everything that is happening in the world, I have been finding it challenging to sit still and meditate.
Does this sound familiar?
BUT I find that moving my body really helps me focus my mind better. So I wanted to share my tips on how to do walking meditation, so you too can reap the benefits.
Walking meditation is actually an important part of Buddhist meditation. It can be a deeply spiritual thing to do, when done with intention but without effort.
Buddha said “My practice is the lack of practice, the achievement of lack of fulfillment.”
In other words, just enjoy walking but walk mindfully. Walk and be connected to the things around you.
Walking meditation is not some robotic practice! I
It’s just natural walking, with your mind present.
How do you do that?
Allow yourself to become one with the moment. With each step, be an observer of your surroundings. Let your fleeting thoughts go and be connected to the nature around you. Connect not only with the moment, but also with the Earth.
Take conscious steps. Notice the sights, smells, and sensations around you. Really see and feel what’s around you.
The idea is to enter a meditative state of mind, conscious but effortless.
Feel the interconnectedness of life.
The results are amazing, I promise.
With each step, ground yourself in the moment.
As if to say, “I am here. My foot joins the ground and I feel the present as it touches the ground.”
The secret of walking meditation is that it is about the journey, not the destination. Think of it as a practice of simply enjoying the act of walking.
Enjoy every step in peace.
Walking Meditation Guide:
Try this every day for a week for at least 10-25 minutes and observe the results.
- Choose your route. Choose a route you want to take. It is best to do this in a quiet place that is close to nature. Find a park or quiet route that is ideal for walking meditation.
- Be aware of how your body feels. How are you carrying yourself? What is your situation? Just become an observer of yourself, feel self-aware but take a few seconds to notice how it feels to walk like you. Can you relax your shoulders? Release some anxiety by taking some deep breaths as you leave.
- Notice what is happening around you. You don’t have to think about what you see or hear, just notice it. Whether it’s cars, other people, loud music, birdsong, leaves, whatever.
- Just pay attention to the sounds you can hear. Be aware of them, don’t get all caught up in them. Give them just 30 seconds of your time.
- Now do the same for smells and physical sensations. The sun on your skin, the blooming of flowers or cars, whatever. The intention here is to acknowledge these things without getting caught up in any feelings or thoughts about them.
- The idea is that as you walk, you allow everything else around you to be there as part of a changing landscape. To let things come and go as you move, like your thoughts come and go while you sit in meditation.
- Now pay attention to your own body and how it moves. Bring your attention to the bottom of your feet as they move. Feel each step as it hits the ground. With each step, feel that connection to the present moment. Let your breathing be natural if possible, don’t overthink it.
- If things catch your eye as you walk, look at them, contemplate them but don’t let go of your attachment to the moment. Breathe with the mind.
- As you walk, be fully aware of each step, be aware of the ground, and the connection between them, which is your own conscious breath.
Walking meditation is a great clearer mind, it can help you regain a sense of connection with yourself, with the world and help you when you are feeling fear, quiet or anxious.
Try it and tell us how it goes!