Sunday Meditation: Walking Meditation
Walking meditation is a great option for those who find sitting completely still a challenge. There are endless variations to this meditation practice, so find what works best for you.
Begin in a quiet area, free from traffic. A walking or hiking trail or your backyard work great. Set a distance or number of paces to walk before you begin walking. During this meditation, you will take small and deliberate steps and will move slowly. Try to move as naturally as possible, without over-emphasizing any movement.
Stand still and notice what is happening in your body. Is there any tension, aches and pains, etc.? Noting any physical sensations, give all of your attention to the movement of the feet and feelings of your body as it moves. Slowly and mindfully lift one foot from the ground and move the lifted leg ahead of the standing leg. Set the heel of the moving leg down and slowly roll the foot forward toward the toe. As the weight shifts into the foot that just touched down, lift the other foot off the ground with the same slow motion. Walk in this manner until you have reached the designated turning spot or number of steps. Turn around and walk in the same slow, deliberate manner back to the starting point. Continue this practice, back and forth, throughout your meditation.
Pay special attention to the sensations in the feet as each foot is lifted, moved, and set back down on the ground. When your attention wanders, just acknowledge the thought and refocus your awareness on your feet and their movement.
While walking, the arms can hang loose at your sides or hands can be interlaced behind your back. Find what is most comfortable for you. Keep your spine straight and shoulders relaxed. Walking barefoot on the grass is a wonderful way to really feel everything that is happening during the process. Enjoy!
(Photos were taken in West Palm Beach, Florida)