I took my first meditation walk a few weeks ago. I’ve since done some research about walking meditation, and wow–there’s a ton of information out there!
My meditation walk was hosted by a licensed counselor who often offers group seminars and private sessions on mindfulness, so I feel confident I learned–definitely not everything–but a good solid foundation for planning my own mindfulness walks.
So, for simplicity’s sake–and to add to the wealth of information already available–I’ll focus on my own meditation walk.
Probably, this goes without saying, but the main difference between walking meditation and still meditation is you’re not sitting still during walking meditation.
(Oh, and you’re eyes
should be always are open!)
Walk at a comfortable, slow pace. Don’t rush–you’ve set this time aside for yourself. Intentionally step heel to toe, one foot at a time, paying attention to how the dirt, pavement, or gravel feels under your soles.
So, understand you won’t be sitting or lying still, but don’t be afraid that you won’t reap some of the same meditation and mindfulness benefits.
Why are you taking a meditation walk? Why are you choosing to walk rather than sit or lie?
Maybe you want to sharpen your senses, or reconnect with your surroundings. Maybe there’s a specific issue in your life you want to meditate on and you feel moving rather than sitting still will help.
As with any practice–yoga, meditation, running–there’s a little preparation involved before you get started.
Here are a few tips my mindfulness coach shared:
* Remember all that “different information” I mentioned in the beginning? Well, here’s an example: Rather than choosing a proper “path,” some meditation walk instructions suggest finding a stretch of land, 30 or 40 feet long, and walking back and forth. Although this sounds beneficial in its own way, it wasn’t my experience this time.
Aside from preparing for your walk–and knowing where you’ll walk–considering planning your mindfulness topics.
For example, my mindfulness walking class was a donation-based class to help raise money for an upcoming charity event, so our mindfulness coach divided our walk into three parts and instructed us to focus on something different during each section:
Of course, you might mix up these parts, or take away or add a few. It’s entirely up to you. Your mindfulness walk must work for YOU.
After your meditation walk, don’t immediately hop in your car or get started on dinner. Take some time to reflect on your meditation.
Did you learn anything? Did your mindfulness help you reach any realizations or conclusions?
Did you enjoy walking more than sitting, or was it just a different experience for you?
Was there anything you could “tweak” to make the experience more beneficial?
So, how about YOU, readers? Do you think you’ll try a mindful meditation walk this weekend? Or, have you already put a few meditation walk notches in your belt and have your own experiences to share with us?
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Last reviewed: 2 Oct 2013