Many times, meditation is done in a sitting position, with focus being placed on breathing or an object. However, it is possible to perform meditation while walking. In this case, focus is placed on the body and its movements. Awareness is kept on the feelings that occur within your body as you are walking and staying in the present moment rather than allowing your thoughts to wander all over the place.
How Is Walking Meditation Done?
First, pick a suitable location. Ideally, you should be outdoors, in fairly unobstructed sunlight, in an area where you can walk unimpeded for at least 20 minutes. Take appropriate precautions to protect your eyes and skin from overexposure to the sun, and make sure you are dressed for the temperature. You don’t want to be so chilled or overheated that you lose your focus. Drink a glass of water before you begin your walk and take a bottle with you if you will be out for more than 30 minutes.
Next, get off to a purposeful start. Take a moment. Intend a therapeutic walk and affirm your receptivity to the benefits of the sunlight. Give yourself a good stretch before you begin, place your feet about two feet apart, raise your arms to the sky, palms extended. Breathe in fresh air and feel it fill your lungs. Turn your face up to the sun and enjoy the warmth on your skin. Stretch your legs and arms to warm up for the walk ahead. Bring your awareness inward to your body, being sure to notice and give attention to all of the sensations that are occurring, especially your breath.
Now, begin walking. Take your strides at a pace comfortable to you; not too fast. Hold your head up. Remember to breathe. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth – deep lung filling breaths. As you walk, feel the light upon your face and soaking into your body, fueling you with positive sensations. Feel the rays beaming down upon you, infusing you with the full spectrum of energy.
Meditation and Walking
As you walk, it will be easy for your attention to be pulled to all kinds of things around you. As you would do during sitting meditation, simply acknowledge the thoughts as they come up, dismiss them, and bring your focus back to your body.
Feel everything going on in your body while you walk, from the swinging of your arms to the feelings that occur in the soles of your feet.
No matter how long you walk, the movement and sunlight will benefit and recharge you. Walking meditation can even be done on extremely short walks, such as from the car to the grocery store door. Any amount of time spent meditating will be beneficial to you.
Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
– Maori Proverb