We all know that meditation has countless benefits, but sometimes, it can be challenging to just sit still. If this is the case for you, you’re in luck! You might want to try walking meditation, which combines mindfulness with physical movement. To help you out, we’ll share a brief tutorial on how to do walking meditation, plus some of the best tips for getting the most out of the experience.
Walking meditation, also called kinhin in the Buddhist tradition, is a mindfulness technique that combines mental focus with physical movement. It helps develop awareness of the present moment, increases the body-mind connection, and helps the body and mind relax. To practice walking meditation, follow these steps:
- Walk slowly and mindfully
- Breathe deeply
- Refocus your mind if it starts to wander
In the rest of this article, we’ll explain each of these tips in more detail and also give you a step-by-step guide on how to do walking meditation. Keep reading to learn more about this incredibly rewarding mindfulness technique.
How To Do Walking Meditation
Walking meditation is known as kinhin (“sutra walk” in Japanese) in several Buddhist traditions. Traditionally, it is practiced between periods of zazen (sitting meditation), but it can also be practiced on its own. In walking meditation, the practitioner is invited to deepen their awareness of mind and body as they learn to integrate both.
To practice walking meditation, follow these steps:
Feel the body weights of your head, shoulders, knees, and feet in balance.
Walk slowly and mindfully
Feel your heel as it touches the ground and shifts your weight forward, peeling your back foot off the ground. It might be helpful to think about your feet in three parts – toes, ball, and heel. Notice as each of these three components press into the ground and leave it again. Continue walking with awareness of every step.
As you walk, breathe deeply. Try a breath pattern of inhaling for two steps, then exhaling for two. Deep breathing is one of the most important parts of any meditation, and walking meditation is no different. Use your breath to find a connection between your mind and body.
Focus your mind
If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to focus on your breath and steps. You can also focus on other physical sensations such as the wind blowing on your face or sounds in the distance. Many things are happening in your body as you walk, and walking meditation invites you to notice all of them.
Tips for an Effective Walking Meditation
Practice in a safe place
Although you can practice walking meditation almost anywhere, you’ll have the most relaxing experience if you choose a safe place with minimal distractions. This could be a park, a forest trail, or even a hallway or room in your home.
Try different walking speeds
When you first start practicing, walk slowly so you can feel every part of your feet. As you gain experience, experiment with walking more quickly and find a pace that is comfortable for you.
Hopefully, this brief guide helped you learn more about walking meditation. Practice for 10 to 15 minutes each week, and enjoy the benefits you’ll receive.