"When I Walk, I Walk."

Walking meditation is a wonderful means of bringing meditation into your daily living. A number of human activities requires walking and we spend time doing it daily. It could be to take a shower or make a freshly brewed coffee. Bringing awareness to these walking sessions, helps us bring the benefits of seated meditation into the rest of our day. Ritual being what it is suggests that it is great to start by practicing walking meditation during a designated time at a designated place, just like your regular seated meditations.

Ensure that you become comfortable with the idea of walking with your attention focused internally rather than externally. Once you learn to do this in a calm and relaxed manner, and you feel safe walking on a busy street with the mind focused inward, you may choose to transform all your walking into meditation sessions. The inner focus allows you to be the witness in your life. It brings a great sense of inner peace.

How to meditate on your feet:

Time Required

10 minutes daily for at least a week. Evidence suggests that mindfulness increases the more you practice it.

Find A location

Look around your locale for a space, a park or maybe a lane that allows you to walk back and forth with a gentle purpose. Aim for a peaceful place. A quiet place, preferably. Somewhere you won’t be disturbed or seen (since a slow, formal walking meditation can look odd to people who are unfamiliar with it). You can practice walking meditation either indoors. However, it’s a magical experience being nurtured by nature, so outside is preferable. Remember that there is no destination, just a place to practice a very intentional form of walking where you’re mostly retracing your steps.

Begin Your Steps

Walk 10-15 steps wherever you have  chosen, then pause to receive your breath from the universe. Enjoy the element of the air flow through every part of your body as long as you like. When you’re ready, turn and walk back in the opposite direction, where you can pause and breathe again. Then, when you’re ready, turn once more and continue with the walk. You may choose a circular pathway (this is my personal favourite!).
walk in silence

The Components Of Each Step

Walking meditation involves deliberatly thinking about and doing a series of actions that you normally do automatically. Breaking these steps down in your mind may feel awkward, even ridiculous. But you should try to notice at least these four basic components of each step:

a) the lifting of one foot;
b) the moving of the foot a bit forward of where you’re standing;
c) the placing of the foot on the floor, heal first;
d) the shifting of the weight of the body onto the forward leg as the back heel lifts, while the toes of that foot remain touching the floor or the ground.
Then the cycle continues, as you:
a) lift your back foot totally off the ground;
b) observe the back foot as it swings forward and lowers;
c) observe the back foot as it makes contact with the ground, heel first;
d) feel the weight shift onto that foot as the body moves forward.

Speed

You can walk at any speed, however, this is a meditation, not a running race. Walking meditation is slow and involves taking small steps. Most important is that it feels natural, not exaggerated or hurried.

What To Do With Our Hands And Arms

You can clasp your hands behind your back or in front of you, or you can just let them hang at your side—whatever feels most comfortable and natural.

Focusing Your Attention On Your Intention

Your intentions are important. Focus your attention on it when you walk. An example is the consciousness of some sensations taken for granted. Sensations such as feeling your breath move in and out of your body. The movement of your feet and legs or their contact with the ground/floor. Balancing of your head on your neck and shoulder as they focus on the world in front of you. The sounds nearby or those caused by the movement of your body, or whatever your eyes take in.

Tame The Monkey Mind

No matter how much you try to fix your attention on any of these sensations, your mind will inevitably wander. That’s OK—it’s perfectly natural. When you notice your mind wandering, simply try again to focus it on one of those sensations. Do not get angry with yourself.

Integrating Walking Meditation Into Your Daily Life

For many people, it takes time to get used to slow, formal walking meditation takes time. However, the more you practice, even for short periods, the more you are likely to enjoy it and begin to look forward to experiencing more of it. Keep in mind that you can also bring mindfulness to walking at any speed in your everyday life, including running. Of course, the pace of your steps and breath will change. In fact, over time, you can try to bring the same degree of awareness to any everyday activity, experiencing the sense of presence that is available to us at every moment as our lives unfold.