Meditation is a Yoga practice that has been adopted for thousands of years. It is an age-old methodof you quietening the mind, finding inner peace and makinga connection with your higher self. Our minds are generally restlesswith thoughts flitting through them, thousands of times a day without ever going further. Deviating from thisbusy-ness and taking time out in quiet stillness to connect with our souls has many benefits.
Meditation requires you to sit or lie in a comfortable position, or evenwalk and focus on a chosen object for a period of time.This object could be yourself, a candle, a flower, a thought, a sound, a word, a feeling, your body,nature, a picture or just your breath. Focusingsolely on the chosen object, becoming cognisant of all the changes during the observation as well as letting go of unnecessary thoughts withoutreacting to them is the essence of meditation.
What is walking meditation?
The term ‘walking meditation’ refers to a form of meditation in practice.
During this particular form of meditation, we make use of the experience of walking as our focus. We become mindful of what we experience while walking, andattempt to keep our awareness involved with the experience of walking.
During walking meditation, we keep our eyes open. We are not removing our attention from the outsideworld in the same manner that we do when we practise sitting or lying down meditations. We have tobe aware of things which are outside of ourselves (objects we might trip over, other people we might walk into). There are many other things outside ourselves that we will be more aware of, for example the:
- Sounds of nature, and
It is easier, for most people, to be more intensely and easily aware of their bodies while doingwalking meditation. This is as opposed sitting forms of practice. When your body is moving, it isgenerally easier to be aware of it compared with sitting forms of practice.
Once your body is moving,it is generally easier to be aware of it as opposed to when you are sitting still. At the moment we're sitting stillin meditation, the sensations which arise in our bodies are much more subtle as well as harder to pay attentionto as opposed to those that arise while we're walking. These facts make walking meditation anpowerful experience. It is possible to experience your body very powerfully and, in addition, you can also find extreme enjoyment from thisexercise.
The convenience of walking meditation
In addition, the practice of walking meditation can be slotted into the breaks in our lives quite easily.Even going from the car into the supermarket can be anchance for a minute's worth of walking meditation.
Meditation is a method of developing greater awareness so that we can:
- Make alterations to our consciousness,
- Be deeplyfulfilled, and
- Have a greater understanding of life.
Meditation is essentially an inner activity. When we perform walking meditation, we are making use of the physical, mentalas well as emotional events of walking as the foundationfor developing enhanced awareness and fitness. The practice of walking meditation is an excellent way of developing our ability to take awareness into our day-to-day lives.
When your attention is always looking for satisfaction outside of yourself – through taking a quick look at consumer goods or at good-looking passers-by - then your internal experience becomesfragmented. It is almost as if you're leaving parts of yourself behind.
In this condition of fragmentation, it is even more difficult to find sources of fulfilment within ourselves. This ends in a vicious cycle where, more and more, we feel hollow and fragmented as we seek fulfilment outside ourselves.
Using walking meditation will help you calm your mind, collect yourself as well as live more mindfully in your body. Practise at home firstly. After this, you can then extend your mindful walking routine - in an informal way - when you go on shopping trips, whenever you take a walk down the street or amble to or from your car. You can learn how to enjoy walking for its own sake as opposed to the usual planning and thinking. In this simple way, you can begin to be truly present, bring your body, heart and mind in unison as you move through your life.