- Alternative & Natural Medicine
How To Do Walking Meditation
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation benefits mental health as well as the physical body. Here are a list of benefits of meditation.
- Helps to stabilize blood pressure
- Increases immunity
- Fosters emotional balance
- Increases fertility
- Aids irritable bowel syndrome
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
- Increases calm
What Walking Meditation is
Most of us our able to do walking meditation but a lot of us are unable to sit for extended periods of time in sitting meditation. With any meditation there is really no cost involved except for a pair of comfortable sneakers.
Next you have to find a relaxing place to walk---preferably the park or the beach. Don't choose a place to walk that is stressful or noisy or crowded with people and cars. Choose a place that is tranquil and that elicits a peaceful feeling.
Before you start your walking meditation develop an intention or a focus. The focus should start with conscious breathing. You can say to yourself to start the process: I breathe in, I breathe out or make your breath audible so you start to become mindful of each breath.
The breath will help you stay in the here and now or the present moment. The more you stay in the present moment the more effective the walking meditation will be; and as you lose yourself in the walk, your stress level will melt away.
Once you are walking with conscious breathing you can develop another focus that develops more awareness of the process of walking--the gentle movement of the large muscles, the bending of your knees and ankles; your hips shifting forward and back.
Become aware of your feet and how each foot takes a turn to lie flat and grip the ground. Notice what your upper torso is doing--moving in unison with your legs and with your arms rotating with each step.
As you move through the park or along the beach pay attention to how the wind feels on your body or how the air moves through your legs and fingers. Continue to be conscious of your breath and the various bodily sensations..
Have a half-smile on your face as you walk slowly and gracefully. The focus of the walk is not on the destination--it's the walking that's the goal.
Have You Ever Tried to Meditate?
Suggestions from Buddhist Teacher' Thich Nhat Hanh
- Counting steps during each breath
- Walk like a tiger (imagine yourself having the nobility and strength of a tiger. It does not mean to walk on all fours but to have the attitude of a tiger)
- Experiencing happiness with each step.
- Experiencing gratitude with each step because each step is a blessing
- Walk with peace
- Walk as if each step is nourishing your body
Source: The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
Walking meditation is a moving meditation that helps you to stay in the present moment and to reduce stress and anger and to alleviate such physical issues as high blood pressure.
Walking in the Present Moment
Walking meditation is really about being in the present moment. It is not being in the past with things that you have done wrong or mistakes that you made or people that hurt you. If you are in the past, you are stuck there and you will never be able to relax because you are constantly thinking about what happened yesterday.
Walking meditation is not about being in the future, either. It's not about things that you have to do; people that you have to talk to or meet; problems that you will have to solve. Being in the future can be as stressful as being in the past and it also takes you away from the present moment.
In the present moment you are in the here and now. You become the walk. You focus on the simple task of walking that is relaxing and healthy. You have nothing else to do but to walk.
It is a wonderful place to be--but like all good things, it takes plenty of practice, daily practice to reap its benefits.
Do's and Don't's of Walking Meditation
Smoke or use cell phone
Walk in a tranquil place
Walk on a crowded, noisy street
Walk in peace
Walk in anger
Be mindful of breath
Walk without breath awareness
Walking Meditation is Enjoyable
It's sometimes difficult to find something that is good for you and that is enjoyable at the same time. Walking meditation does that. It is an enjoyable way to meditate as well as fill your lungs up with clean air and to exercise your body.
Above all, walking meditation reduces stress, reduces blood pressure, and can alleviate anger and anxiety. It is the perfect way to take care of yourself and to have fun doing it.
So the next time that you're engaged in walking meditation, take a couple ideas from Thich Nhat Hanh and soon you will be in the present moment. There is nothing else to do but to just be. You don't have to work, solve a problem or deal with a catastrophic event. You just have to be in the present moment, breathing and walking, where nothing bad is happening.
Please, share your feedback on walking meditation and how you experience it. I'd be interested in hearing about it.