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Walking Meditation

Yes, for those who can’t sit still. Ready to get Zen? In walking meditation, called “kinhin” in the Zen tradition, practitioners move slowly and continuously while staying aware of the body and mind. In the practice of mindful walking, you place your entire awareness in the process of walking. Walking meditation is a more practical approach to mindfulness meditation for people who are not used to meditation while sitting. 

Here are few things you can so to practice mindful walking meditation

  1. Firstly find a unobstructed space where you can walk for about ten feet. This is the instruction given in Satipatthana Sutta itself. It’s also recommended to walk bare feet as it brings more awareness to what happens in the body when you’re walking. Bring your awareness down to your feet. Notice the sensations here. Shift your weight from your left leg to your right leg. 
  2. Secondly shift your weight from your left leg to your right leg. Lift your head and look straight ahead and hold your chest high. You can hold your hands loosely to the side or clasp them behind your back. Now being the process of walking. Extend the right leg forward and notice the weight redistribution.
  3. Final step is that as the weight shifts forward, notice how the heel of your left leg begins to lift. Swing the left leg forward and repeat. At the end of the walking path, come to a complete stop and take a deep mindful breath. Now turnaround and walk to the other side following the same practice. To start with, practice mindful walking for 5 mins and gradually increase the duration. 

Satipatthana Sutta, a widely studies discourse in Theraveda Buddhism, lays the foundation of mindfulness meditation practice. In Kaya Sutta, walking is one of the postures to be mindful of along with sitting, standing and lying down. 

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16 replies »

    • Unlike seated meditation, when walking your eyes are open, body is standing and moving, and there is a bit more interaction with the outside world. Because the body is moving, it is easier to be mindful of the body sensations and anchored in the present moment; for this reason, many people find walking meditation easier than seated meditation.

      Liked by 2 people

    • You are most welcome. Many of us walk for the sole purpose of getting from one place to another. Now suppose we are walking to a sacred place. We would walk quietly and take each gentle step with reverence. I propose that we walk this way every time we walk on the earth. The earth is sacred and we touch her with each step. We should be very respectful, because we are walking on our mother. If we walk like that, then every step will be grounding, every step will be nourishing.

      Liked by 1 person

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