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Walking Meditation – Stepping Out for a Spiritual Walk Part 1
Posted In: Meditation And Spirituality  2/23/09
By: Yona Williams

If you think stepping out into the great outdoors to get a breath of fresh air was relaxing enough, did you know that you can take it to the next level with walking meditation? If you've ever been interested in embracing a whole new world of calm through meditation, beginners usually feel most comfortable with the walking meditation process. In this article, we will explore this subject.

Walking meditation is often an attractive entryway into meditation because it is easy to achieve and elevates your physical, mental, and spiritual comfort. Since many meditation sessions place an individual in one position or uses sitting poses, this choice of meditation makes it easier on people who are unable to sit still for stretches of time – whether its due to fidgetiness or physical limitations. However, one of the most undeniable qualities of walking meditation is the fact that you get to surround yourself with a relaxing outdoor setting. The setbacks (for some), is the lack of privacy or the threat of a rainy or snowy day.

Typically, it takes between 15 minutes to one hour for one session. It is not uncommon to see before follow a 20-minute walk with 20 minutes of sitting meditation. Another approach is to aim for a complete hour of meditation that could begin with a 20-minute sitting session, followed by a 20-minute walk that ends with 20 minutes of sitting meditation. The overall experience shouldn’t place any stress on the activity.

Walking meditation isn’t only for the outside, as you can practice indoors by walking around the perimeter of the largest room in your home. When practicing outdoors, it is suggested to select a quiet setting that provides plenty of scenery. The local park is usually a popular location for a session of walking meditation, but you could choose your backyard or path about the neighborhood.

When outside, the goal is to walk without a destination. Place the mind in a state where it is essentially wandering without the thought of arriving to a specific location. The goal is to view the activity as 'being somewhere rather than going somewhere.'

To begin a session of walking meditation, begin with a pace that is slightly faster than your usual. Gradually slow down to your normal walking pace and then continue to slow your steps until you start to feel what some consider 'off balance.' When walking, speed up your pace until you feel comfortable – both in the physical sense and psychologically. In the beginning, some people need to walk pretty quickly to feel a smoothed-out gait. With practice, your balance will improve and walking slower will not feel awkward.

When walking, it is important to pay attention to your breathing. The objective is to breathe without trying to control the action. Let your breath come from the diaphragm if you are able to, but always remember that your breathing should feel natural and not forced. Imagine your breath following an easy circular movement.



 

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