Walking Meditation: 12 Ways How To Meditate While Walking
Walking has been used as a form of meditation for hundreds of years and is a terrific method to incorporate awareness into your daily life. However, walking is typically a well-established and ingrained behavior that requires very little concentration in daily life.
As a result, it has virtually taken on an autonomous quality, making it simple to walk in a semi-conscious state in which the legs are moving but the mind is engaged in entirely different thoughts. Whatever it is that sends the mind off on a tangent, it always involves a departure from the present moment and the immediate experience of life. Sometimes it seems as though we spend all of our time remembering, preparing, and studying life that we neglect to truly live it, rather than just imagine what it ought to be like.
The walking meditation exercise provided below will help you focus on the present moment and connect with what is going on around you. And fortunately, you presumably already walk a lot during the course of a typical day, so all you’re really doing is changing the way your attention is directed while continuing to do what you’ve always done. You can try our accompanied walking exercise here if you have the app.
1. Pay attention
How your body feels as you start to walk. Does it seem stiff or relaxed, hefty or light? Take a moment to become aware of your posture and how you are holding yourself before responding to the inquiry.
2. Simply pay attention
How it feels when walking, without attempting to alter your gait. Just pause for a moment to consider it. When you do this, it’s not uncommon to feel self-conscious, but the emotion normally passes fast.
3. Don’t think too much
While walking won’t need much thought, you still need to be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to cars, other people, traffic signs, and other nearby objects while you walk.
4. Observe occurring
To start, pay attention to what you observe occurring in your immediate environment. You might see people strolling by, storefront displays, cars, billboards, and other things you would expect to see all around you. Take note of the hues and shapes, the motion, and perhaps even the silence. It suffices to merely observe and acknowledge what you are seeing without having to give it any thought. Do this in about thirty seconds.
5. Focus on noises
After that, focus on noises; what do you hear? Just take a time to be aware of the objects of sound, as though they are simply coming and departing in your range of awareness, without getting caught up in thinking about them. Again, give it a good thirty seconds.
6. Focus on the smell
After around 30 seconds, focus your attention on smell. Some smells might be nice, while others might be downright repulsive. Every time you smell something, your mind automatically tries to conjure up a memory of somewhere, something, or someone.
7. Focus on sensations or emotions
Pay attention to any bodily sensations or emotions, if any. Maybe it’s the sensation of the hot sun, chilly rain, or a chilly breeze. It can be the feeling of your feet touching the ground with each step or the weight of your arms hanging at your side. The goal is to just acknowledge the feelings for roughly 30 seconds without feeling the urge to engage in emotional analysis.
8. Don’t try to prevent
Just note as they come and go, how one item is continually being replaced by the next, as you continue to walk, without trying to stop any of these things from entering your field of awareness.
9. Focus on body
After a few minutes, carefully turn your focus to how your body feels as it moves. Observe how the weight alternates between the right and left sides, typically in a fairly regular pattern. Avoid trying to walk at a specific pace or modifying your speed artificially. Instead, pay attention to your gait and the rhythm you’ve gotten used to. You could decide to walk a little more slowly going forward as a result of this workout.
10. Use the rhythm of walking
As your base of awareness, or a location you can mentally return to once you realize your mind has wandered, use the rhythm of your walking and the physical sense of your feet touching the ground. When you practice sitting meditation, the rising and falling sensation of the breath is analogous to this.
11. Aware of what is going on around
You don’t need to concentrate so hard that you begin to ignore everything around you. In fact, be aware of what is going on around you. When you notice that your thoughts have strayed, gently draw them back to your body’s motion and the sound of your feet stepping on the ground.
12. Aware of mental habits
Your mental habits (your typical patterns of thinking) may now also become more obvious because you’ll be more present and attentive. Most of the time, we are so preoccupied with the thoughts themselves that we fail to see how we are responding to everything. How do you feel, for instance, when the flow of walking is interrupted by a red pedestrian light, forcing you to stop and wait to continue? Is there a sense of urgency or a desire to move forward? Do you ever feel the need to compete for a place with others? Alternatively, you can have a sense of relief at the chance to take a brief break.
This method might benefit from being divided into several parts. For instance, it is advisable to stroll from street to street if your journey from point A to point B will take ten or fifteen minutes. Remind yourself to walk without getting sidetracked until you reach the end of each street. Do this at the beginning of each street. When you become aware that your thoughts have strayed, simply softly bring them back to the sensation on your feet’s soles. Start over when you reach the end of that street, seeing each repetition as a new exercise. It may seem a lot more controllable as a result.
If you’re lucky enough to live next to a park, a river, or another relaxing outdoor area, it’s a good idea to practice the technique there as well. These locations will have far less outside distraction, which may alter how the exercise feels. Knowing how your mind functions differently in these disparate contexts can also be helpful.
If you want to read more meditation information, the links below here belong to you:
Deeply Breathing: How it reduces your stress