This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Walking meditation is one of the best things that happened to me, frankly many of my best meditation experiences happened during a walking meditation, the benefits of combining walking with meditations are innumerable – walking as a physical activity has amazing benefits, and meditation has tremendous benefits as well, but that is not the reason I started with it.
How I started experimenting with walking meditations:
15 years ago I looked for a way to combine my restlessness after sitting all day in the office with my meditation practice, as it was hard for me to sit more hours in the day even if they are only for meditation. I did not like the Buddhist walking meditation that I learned – it was too slow and boring, so I tried something else – I asked my self what will happen if I just walk and do meditation on anything?
My first try was to take Anapana meditation of the breath – and to do it while walking – though I got into a drunk like state a few times, and my eyes started to close many times – I somehow stayed on the path and the meditations were amazing, since then I got new meditation techniques and experiences and developed many ideas around it, however, the main meditation template is the same.
Walking meditation template:
- Choose a safe location to your walk, it can not be an extreme walk in nature as you may be walking with less awareness to the outside at some points of the meditation – so it should be a safe and easy track without any danger or pitfalls, I usually choose for it a park trail or a walk by the sea.
- Stand at the start of the safe track you have chosen, scan your physical, emotional and energetic body see what is your status before starting the meditation.
- Start walking and let your mind wander – you can start with your chosen meditation technique now – but the idea here is to let your mind flow.
Thoughts will come and go, allow your mind to run free, think as long as you like about your day, your week, life, or on any of the things that are bothering you at this time – just allow it. After 10 -20 minutes your thoughts might start turning back in a loop, it might happen earlier, and it might not happen, but at this time you are going to say enough thinking now, Mind you can continue with these thoughts later in 30 minutes or 1 hour see you later :).
- Start using your chosen meditation technique, it can be anything, any meditation that you practice sitting can be done while walking, sure there are meditations that have a better fit for walking meditations, but the point is you can take any meditation technique and turn it into a walking meditation.
- After the time allotted have passed – or the distance was finished – stop stand a few moments feel your body, feel the energy in your body, scan your physical, emotional and energetic body see how do you feel right now – and that’s it.
Walking meditations questions and answers:
What is it with the bodies scan? Why, what, who?
Starting the meditation with a scan – allow you to start the session – differentiate from everyday life and focus your awareness on yourself and begins the process of meditation, you will now also know what is the status of your mind, body, and energy with which you started the meditation. Ending the walking meditation with a scan allow you to close off the session, see what is your current status and rip the benefits of the meditation – with more awareness.
Why should I let my mind consciously roam at step 2?
This is something I found during years of meditations – usually when I start with my walking meditation – its the first time I really had to my self, not with my family or co-workers, so naturally the mind would like to do its thing: “think” – alone at last – and its important to let it do that – many of the benefits of the walk is its alone time – do not walk with somebody – it is really not the same, during this time and the time after the main stafge of the meditation Ideas and todo list may come into your mind – let them it is important part of the meditation – after they are finished you can do the meditation easyli and have a better meditation experience.
What If my mind stuck in a loop on a problem or difficulty I have at life – and I can not meditate?
Its important to let the mind roam, after a few loops tell the mind – you are stuck in a loop – and the mind will also notice it, then tell the mind – the solution for the problem will not come from the mind – only from the no-mind, if you would like to continue buring energy on the problem you can do that after the meditation as much as you like – but now I am meditating, and an answer may come by the end of the meditation to the issue, so please relax.
Isn’t walking counterproductive to meditation states? What about the brain waves needed for seeing, moving, etc.?
Yes in certain higher states of consciousness, you may need to sit to go into them, also when going into out of body experiences, however, there are many meditation states that can be reached during a walk like seedless love, happiness, bliss or joy, deeper silence, stillness and the void.
All of these states and more are available during walking, actually the more we meditate – our body vibrations are rising to a higher state – and walking helps us to embody this energy in the body – we get access to higher states of consciousness and grounding at the same time, this goes together with the idea that eventually all the benefits of meditation start to fill our daily lives – they happen not only in meditation but during the regular day, so doing any meditation during an activity goes forward into embodying the meditation energy into real life.
This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)