Could walking meditation be your thing? Well, if you want to calm your mind and body while melting away those jagged emotions, then it certainly could be.
How many of you have tried meditating in the traditional way - sitting in a chair or cross-legged on the floor, trying to focus on a darn mantra, while all the while the thoughts just keep rushing through your head. You get more and more frustrated, even though you know you shouldn't.
Yes, I've certainly been there and done that!
Well, why not give walking meditation a try? If you find yourself feeling agitated and restless while trying to sit still long enough to meditate, then you can still meditate - on your feet.
Walking meditation was the second meditation technique I ever tried, and I learned this particular method from our local Buddhist community who were kind enough to hold free meditation lessons.
There are several different ways you could meditate while walking, but I am going to tell you about the walking meditation I am familiar with.
Obviously, the more you practice meditation, the more effective you will become and the benefits you experience will be greater. But you will likely begin to notice changes within you from day one, so let's get started.
Well, basically, it's focusing on something while you walk. But of course, it has to be controlled. We certainly don't want you wandering into traffic while you do your walking meditation down a busy street.
Like focused meditation , walking meditation could be described as a attention meditation technique, where we choose to focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else. Even though I use the word attention, it is not about trying too hard.
In the walking technique that I use, I focus on the placement of my feet, one in front of the other. By choosing to focus on this one thing only, we begin to quieten our busy minds and feel peace in the spaces between the thoughts.
Because you will find it difficult to stop thinking totally, you will begin to notice patterns in your thinking and your emotions, giving you more insight into yourself.
Find yourself a quiet spot with plenty of space, where you can be assured of no interruptions. You will need an area that allows you to walk in a straight line, then turn and walk back again. Even if you only have a small room available, that's fine, just make yourself a clear line of walking space.
Stand at the beginning of your walking space. Loosen any tight clothing, and it is preferable that you take off your shoes.
Allow yourself to relax by taking some slow, deep breaths into your abdomen. Feel the muscles in your body loosen, especially the ones around your face, neck and shoulders. Spend a few minutes getting into a relaxed state. Now allow yourself to breathe naturally.
Stand with your feet together and gently clasp your hands behind your back. Look down at your feet - what you do with your feet will be your point of focus.
Take one foot and deliberately place it directly in front of the other, the heel of the front foot touching the toes of the other foot. Then take another step forward in the same way, gently, slowly and deliberately placing one foot in front of the other, with the heel and toes touching.
You are very slowly and gently walking in a straight line, one foot directly in front of the other.
The object is to give your total attention to the placement of your feet. You need to watch your feet, while focusing on each little part of the steps you are taking. Notice your heel lifting from the floor, then your toes. Notice your foot moving slowly forward throught the air, then the placement of your heel on the floor again, and eventually your toes and your whole foot is flat on the floor. Then begin again with the other foot.
It is important you realise that you will not be able to stay totally focused through the whole meditation. In fact, you will probably be focused for a few moments, then lose focus as a thought comes into your mind. When this happens, you calmly bring yourself back to focusing on your walking again, as many times as needed, without judgement or anger toward yourself.
When you've walked as far as you can within your space available, gently turn and walk back again in the same way.
your walking meditation for approximately twenty minutes. When
finished, just stand quietly for a couple of minutes to bring yourself
back to normal consciousness, before going about your day.
Meditation techniques such as this one are very calming and centring. They anchor us in the present moment, freeing us from judgements about the past or worrying about the future. We become totally in the now, even if for only a short time.
Being totally in the present moment is very powerful indeed. The more you experience it, the more you will allow wondrous changes to take place in your life.
As with any meditation, it is very normal for many thoughts, images or feelings to come into your mind and this will happen.
But it is very important that when you do notice that you have lost your focus, just gently bring yourself back to your object of focus again. Do not get angry or frustrated with yourself. Just acknowledge the presence of these thoughts and let them drift away. Do not hang on to them, or judge them in any way.
No matter what happens, your meditation has been successful, even if you had many thoughts. The fact that you just let them drift away and return to focusing on your walking means that you have benefited from this meditation.
Why not have a look around my site and try out some of the other easy meditation techniques I describe.
Like to try some other easy types of meditation? Click on my links below:
For more on how to meditate for beginners, such as where, how often, etc. please click here.