Wouldn’t it be great if you could meditate without having to sit still? Well, you can. It’s called “walking meditation” and it’s a great way to exercise your mind and body simultaneously. So, what is walking meditation? What is the objective? In simplest terms, walking meditation is walking for the sake of walking. You’re not walking with any specific destination in mind; you’re not trying to keep your heart rate up, or cover any particular amount of distance in under a certain time; you’re simply walking for the sake of it.
Now, having said that, let me add this: Although walking meditation is simply walking for the sake of walking, there are techniques you can employ to make your walks more effective, so to speak. You could get up right now and go for a walk just for the enjoyment of it, and that’s perfectly well and good, but odds are you’re mind would still be wandering all over the place during your trek. The point of walking meditation is to be observant. It is to be able to shift your focus from one thing to another, without being interrupted by the normal stream of chatter going on in your mind.
Now, this might all sound easy enough — go outside, walk around aimlessly for a while, noticing things around you, and try not to think about anything — but don’t be surprised if it takes you some practice to really master walking meditation. You see, there are many different types, or “levels,” of observations you can make while you are practicing walking meditation, and learning how to master each of these individually might take some time. But before we get into that, let’s just talk a little bit more about walking meditation and why it’s something you might be interested in practicing.
Walking meditation fits nicely into our modern lives where we’re always on the go. No matter how busy you are, you must spend some part of your day walking, or at least have an opportunity to walk from one point to another. Any time you have an opportunity to walk, you have an opportunity to meditate. You might also find that it is easier for you to focus on certain things, such as physical sensations, while you are walking rather than sitting, thus making it easier for you to meditate. Lastly, walking is a great form of low-intensity, cardiovascular exercise. The more you do it, the healthier you will be.
Next week I will teach you how to start practicing walking meditation and incorporate it into your everyday life.
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