Meditation does not have to be confined to a sitting position. For many, meditation is often exclusively associated with sitting quietly. But the truth is that the sitting position is only one type of meditation technique. In real practice, Buddhists use walking in their meditative experience.
If you do daily walks in the morning or during any other time of the day, then you can turn them into a form of meditation. Walking meditation is a perfect complement to sitting meditation as you get to move your body more. In some cases, it can relieve stress much faster than sitting meditation.
Here are some pointers on how you can make your daily walk become a mindful moment.
Before you start your meditative walk, do some stretching first. This is important especially if you have just awakened in the morning. This will prepare your body for the physical, mental and spiritual activity. Stand still and feel the weight of your body on your feet. Your arms and hands should be relaxed. You can put your arms at the sides or you can have them on your back. Find the position that is most relaxing for you.
Short Walks Work Best
It is best to do walking meditation using a short path and use that to walk back and forth. It is not ideal to walk a long way because you can be more focused on the direction that you are taking. Find a path that takes only about 10 to 30 paces. Walk back and forth on this short path. You will find that there is minimal interruption in this kind of exercise compared with a long, straight walk.
Feel Your Steps
Walking meditation is different from sitting meditation in that it is more focused on the steps and not the breathing. Feel the sensation of your every step, sensing the rhythm of the steps. When you reach the end of the short path, take a small pause. Mindfully walk to the opposite direction, while continuing to focus on your every step. As you pause, close your eyes and centre yourself.
Find Your Pace
When doing walking meditation, use the pace that is most comfortable and most relaxing for you. It could either be a slow or a fast pace that will suit you best. Choose the pace that will make you most mindful of your activity.
You can incorporate your surrounding in your meditation if this makes you more mindful and aware of the experience. These sensations can come from nature, the air and the surrounding sounds that can be a background to your mindful activity.