Why Walking Meditation May Be Just Right For You

If you enjoy a good walk, you will enjoy a walking meditation. Walking meditation is a way to be up and moving and yet allows you to enter into a place of stillness and inner peace.

You can walk through a neighborhood, a park, a schoolyard (off hours), on a trail, on a circular path, on the way to and from work, or around your block. Walking in this matter brings you more fully present to the areas you travel through. You may even notice beauty and points of interest you missed before.

Walking meditation quiets your mind, helps release tension in your body and encourages you to tune in and hear the wisdom within. After a meditative walk you are likely to have a more peaceful mind, a relaxed body and an intuitive sense of what is right for you.

Here is my favorite prescription for the ultimate in walking meditation experience:

Find a nice uphill path/trail/sidewalk, not too steep, and walk vigorously up for 15-30 minutes. Get your body feeling the energy of a pumping heart. Somewhere close to nature is best.

Then turn around and head back down this time slowing your pace for a walking meditation.  A walking meditation works like this:

You began by feeling your body breathe. As you tune into your breathing you naturally slow down. You can simply feel the body expand with the breath in and relax with the breath out.

After a few minutes you arrive at a more relaxed pace. Now note the pace and settle into it.  Keeping the focus on the breathing and allowing the breath to deepen in a relaxing way. The walk down will be slow and easy.

If you find the mind is busy just keep bringing your attention back to your breath. The intention is to be present to yourself and your environment. You can take in the beauty of what is around you including smiling faces, interesting designs, nice yards and of course nature.

These two additions will enhance your walking meditation experience.

1.  I bring my hands together looping my thumb and first two fingers around the thumb and first two fingers of the other hand. This seems to create a calming energy. You can bring your hands together in any way that works for you. Or simply touch your thumb and first finger together as you walk.

2. I find placing my tongue on the roof of the mouth can also be helpful.

Neither of these additions are necessary but they do seem to encourage the mind and body to be calm and peaceful.

As you walk in meditation you train your body to relaxed into the practice. After a while you can even walk meditatively in a busy area where there are lots of distractions. 

If you have any questions, drop me an email at joseph@josephbernardphd.com and I will be glad to share with you further ideas about my favorite form of meditation.