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

When engaging in walking meditation, try to take what is known as a 'soft vision' approach, where the eyes relax and focus on nothing in particular. Some people incorporate a 'smiling with your eyes' technique that can be easily practiced in the mirror. In this article, you will learn how to accomplish the part of the meditation, as well as the link between your steps and inhalation/exhalation.

While you walk, act as if your eyes are smiling at everything with a soft glance. Imagine the smile slowly spreading from your eyes to the rest of your face to the rest of your body. The action is known as an "organic smile" or (a "thalamus smile"). Next, imagine that every cell in your body is softly smiling. Allow all of the worry and sadness that you feel to fade away while you walk.

During your walk, embrace silence on both an internal and external level. When walking, be aware of each step that you make and treat it like a gesture. Make each movement one of elegance. Imagine that each step that you take is full of peace and love – feelings that you would like to share with the rest of the world. Your footsteps should be slow, precise, small, with balance, and full of grace.

In time, you should concentrate on having your breathing and your walking fall into a pattern that follows a beat to their own drummer. Pay attention to the number of footsteps you make per breath. However, don’t make an effort to change the way you are breathing. Simply, make the rhythm of your steps longer or shorter in accordance to your movements. Ideally, you'll want to aim for two, three, or four steps per inhalation, as well as the same for exhalation. Over time, you will encounter a natural rhythm. Once you zero in on this rhythm, put it to memory.

After a couple of weeks of routine practice, you are encouraged to try out different ratios regarding footsteps to your inhalation and exhalation. Once you have settled on a ratio of steps-to-breath that works for you, you should enjoy a secure comfort level. Your steps and rhythm should be easy to maintain during your stretches of walking meditation.

Not only will your mind will reap the benefits of walking meditation, as your body will also enjoy the results. For starters, you'll see in about a couple of months of practicing this form of meditation that you will enjoy improved lung capacity. When you're feeling comfortable during a walk, you should try lengthening your breath an extra step, but the goal is not to see how slow you can breath or you could wind up doing more harm than good.

As you enjoy your walking meditation sessions, take the time to absorb the beauty surrounding you. This is an experience that will revive you both in the inside and out. And, don’t forget to smile using every cell in your body.


 

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