Published on July 5th, 2016 | by Catherine Tingey0
Some people find sitting still intolerable but are really interested in meditation. For these folks, I really recommend Walking Meditation.
As my dog, Leo, has gotten older, I find myself often doing a walking meditation with him as his pace is slow and meditative these days.
Disclaimer: there are many types of meditation and different rules/suggested guidelines for each.
There are many Buddhist walking meditations that do not give concrete rules or a framework, and I find these are difficult for beginners, unless they’re listening to a CD or podcast while walking.
The easiest Walking Meditation for beginners is a very simple BREATH SYNCHRONIZATION with your steps.
(Keep in mind that in TM (Transcendental Meditation), this type of breath synchronization is considered ‘controlling’ the mind and the breath, and is discouraged.)
Start by finding a place where your attention won’t be diverted to traffic, lots of steps or uneven pathways.
Begin by shrugging your shoulders a couple of time as you exhale loudly (with an open mouth/sighing breath).
Then notice your posture – think of your feet grounding down to the center of the earth as the crown of your head reaches to the sky. (Yogis will see the similarity here with Mountain Pose.) Soften your shoulders down away from your ears.
Begin walking and counting 3-4 steps on your inhale, 3-4 steps on your exhale.
Gradually increase to 4-6 steps/inhale and exhale. This is called, ‘lengthening the breath.’
Errant thoughts will enter your mind pretty quickly. In a matter of seconds, you may find yourself thinking about a To-Do list and forgetting about your breath entirely. THAT’S OK.
Just return to the breath.
With each exhale, see if there is some part of your body you can relax more. Notice your jaw, shoulders and belly – make sure all 3 areas are continually relaxing.
Any questions about meditation? Feel free to ask them here!