Do you have trouble trying to meditate? Do you fall asleep easily while meditating? There is a wonderful meditation practice that you may not know about that involves movement. For new and experienced meditators, walking meditation is a powerful practice. There are other types of moving meditation such a tai chi and yoga, however, this post will focus on how to do a walking meditation.
You can do walking meditation indoors or outdoors, but outdoors is a great way to connect with nature and feel grounded. If you do this indoors you don’t need much space, because you’ll be walking extremely slowly. You could take 5 minutes to walk across your living room if you choose to.
- Start by standing still to gain awareness of your body.
- Your hands can be clasped in front or behind your body, or just hanging by your sides.
- Lift your right foot, noticing the weight of your leg and how your balance adjusts. Think to yourself ‘right’ as your foot touches the ground. As your left leg lifts up notice the change in balance.
- Lift your left foot, and think to yourself ‘left’ as your left foot touches the ground.
- Notice what your body is doing. There is a lot going on – balance, weight shifting, muscles contracting and releasing. Notice how your weight starts on the heel and shifts to the front of your foot.
- The focus is on your feet feeling and touching the ground.
- Your gaze can be a soft gaze, on the ground, a few feet in front of you.
- As you become more advanced you may change the words to anything you find peaceful and keeps your focus, such as ‘peace’ and ‘love’.
Do the walking meditation for any length of time you wish. Perhaps start with 5 or 10 minutes. The pace ideally is very slow, so you can really experience the shifting of weight. You can walk as slow or fast as you wish once you are familiar with how to do walking meditation.
This is also a good opportunity to focus inward, and practice not caring what other people think if they see you doing this. I took my meditation group outside for walking meditation on a sidewalk of a very busy street. Cars zoomed by, other people walked past us, and the group remarked afterwards how much they enjoyed doing this; feeling a sense of peace and calm amongst city activity around them.
Try walking meditation sometime. It’s a refreshing way to meditate, and may feel more natural to you than seated meditation if you haven’t tried meditation before.