What is walking meditation?

walking meditation - man walking on beachWalking meditation is a form of meditation in action.

In walking meditation we use the experience of walking as our focus. We become mindful of our experience while walking, and try to keep our awareness involved with the experience of walking. Actually, there are several different kinds of walking meditation. We’ll just be looking at one of them in detail, although we’ll touch on the others. Once you’ve mastered one form, you’ll easily be able to pick up the others.

Obviously, there are some differences between walking meditation and sitting meditation. For one thing we keep our eyes open during walking meditation! That difference implies other changes in the way we do the practice. We are not withdrawing our attention from the outside world to the same extent that we do when we are doing the Mindfulness of Breathing or Metta Bhavana (development of lovingkindness) practices.

Walking: The Ultimate Exercise for Optimum Health

We have to be aware of things outside of ourselves (objects we might trip over, other people that we might walk into) and there are many other things outside of ourselves that we will be more aware of than when we are doing sitting – especially if we sit inside. These include the wind, the sun, and the rain; and the sounds of nature and of humans and machines.

But one of the biggest differences is that it’s easier, for most people, to be more intensely and more easily aware of their bodies while doing walking meditation, compared to sitting forms of practice. When your body is in motion, it is generally easier to be aware of it compared to when you are sitting still. When we’re sitting still in meditation the sensations that arise in the body are much more subtle and harder to pay attention to than those that arise while we’re walking, This can make walking meditation an intense experience. You can experience your body very intensely, and you can also find intense enjoyment from this practice.

The practice of walking meditation can also be fitted in to the gaps in our lives quite easily. Even walking from the car into the supermarket can be an opportunity for a minute’s walking meditation.

The form of walking meditation we’ll be introducing here is best done outdoors. For your first attempt, you might want to find a park or open space where you will be able to walk for twenty minutes without encountering traffic.

75 Comments. Leave new

avatar
Spiritual Eating « Zmama’s Balancing Act
October 15, 2007 5:39 pm

[…] also will be a time I can commune with the trees, the fresh air, etc… I have read a bit about walking meditations but I don’t know if I would be able to manage that while also interacting with Z. Maybe a […]

Reply

My friend recently had an anxiety attack, so I thought I’d look up some helpful practices and I stumbled across walking meditation. As I read the description of the exercise/practice, I realized this is something I actually do on a regular basis. When the weather permits, I typically like to take a walk or ride my golf cart through some trails in the woods at my house; I generally focus on the wind, the ambient noises, and I particularly like the warmth of the sun and the way it shines through the trees. Either way, I always feel a bit more relaxed and concent afterwards.

Reply
avatar
Louise Aspden
January 6, 2008 1:07 pm

Thank you. I didn’t realize that my daily walks in the woods on our property was a form of meditation. I love to walk in the quiet, peaceful forest and take note of each and every sound and detail.

I also find it hugely beneficial to feel great gratitude for all that surrounds me on these walks. Not only is it a stress relief but it helps me stay positive.

The more you can find to feel grateful for out there, the more positive energy emit and therefore attract more joy into your life.

Reply
avatar
PonderAbout.com » Blog Archive » Walking Meditation
March 15, 2008 12:19 pm

[…] today’s post highlights a form of meditation
where attention is focused on walking

at Wildmind.org, they write,

In walking meditation we use
the experience of walking as our focus . . .
and try to keep our awareness
involved with the experience of walking […]

Reply
avatar
Le Cinque Eccellenze « strategie evolutive
April 24, 2008 10:22 am

[…] miei trascorsi lunghi a riassumersi, ad esempio, io tendo a prediligere la meditazione che si fa camminando, ma anche scrivere o giocare a FreeCell possono trasformarsi in metodi per ripulire la mente.È […]

Reply
avatar
Walking Meditation | Manifestation Mastery
September 21, 2008 3:52 pm

[…] not in our heads. To read more about walking meditation and learn how to try it out yourself, visit http://www.wildmind.org.  Mail this postPopularity: unranked [?]SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Walking Meditation”, url: […]

Reply
avatar
The Warrior's Predicament - Page 5
September 22, 2008 5:05 am

[…] to my office. If I am anticipating a bad day at work (eg due to the workload or whatever), I do a walking meditation as I walk to my office. After two minutes, as my mind begins to settle into the meditation, I will […]

Reply
avatar
The Joy of Walking | Look Far - searching for self awareness
October 6, 2008 9:51 pm

[…] how to get started on, it suddenly seems much clearer to you.  Walking is also used as a form of meditation.  I don’t know why it works, but when you are alone and moving on autopilot (hopefully you […]

Reply
avatar
A New Meditation « Ashley Mastandrea’s Weblog
November 18, 2008 11:56 am

[…] found this article. It is a nice summary of walking […]

Reply

I am currently enrolled in a motivational coaching program. Part of practicing to be the best coach is to meditate, I was finding it very difficult to sit and meditate. I am a very active and on the go person. For exercise I have always walked, so with this I can exercise and meditate all in one. WOW! I am not sure who mentioned it to me that lead me to my awareness, but here I am and am really excited to get started. Thanks for the site with all the great information.

Reply
avatar
What is walking meditation? | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation « Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)
March 20, 2009 12:31 pm

[…] via What is walking meditation? | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation. […]

Reply
avatar
» Mindful Meditation Series: Part 1 - family, kids, meditation, mindful, walking meditation
April 13, 2009 1:38 pm

[…] can help the whole family. But if the thought of sitting still yourself just sounds too torturous, walking meditation might be a perfect […]

Reply
avatar
Walking Meditation Can Increase Your Focus
May 3, 2009 12:09 pm

[…] Meditation Can Increase Your Focus Walking meditation is ideal to increased focus and awareness. It helps a person to be attentive on their encounter as […]

Reply
avatar
Medatative Running « Shuttlebum
July 27, 2009 6:42 pm

[…] running is an interesting and fun exercise. I first started thinking about it when reading about walking meditation. Then I ran across a post by Leo from Zen Habits that described being in the moment while running, […]

Reply
avatar
Walking Meditation: Seeing Your World « QuinnCreative
September 26, 2009 11:25 pm

[…] Walking meditation can take many forms, mine is simply walking briskly while being aware of the sounds and sights that nature offers. “Nature” covers a broad experience here–I live in a city, so there is traffic, trees, kids on their way to school, bikes, dogs, crossing guards, trash and recycling pick-ups. Often I’m walking before it gets too light or too noisy, but it doesn’t really matter. A good walking meditation is a great way to start the day. […]

Reply
avatar
The Saunterer » The Joy of Walking: 8 Great Reasons to Walk More
November 8, 2009 12:42 am

[…] Clear your mind. Meditate while you walk. Meditation is one of the best ways to clear your mind and concentrate on the present moment. […]

Reply
avatar
Cult of Innovation » Blog Archive » When Do You Have Your Best Ideas?
February 25, 2010 11:04 am

[…] college, I took a meditation course at a Buddhist center and learned about walking meditation.  The premise behind that practice, at least as far as I understood it, was to focus solely on the […]

Reply
avatar
Mindful Meditation: A FRAZZLED MEDITATOR « Vancouver Island Meditation
March 14, 2010 11:17 pm

[…] I’ve just finished doing my qi gong and yoga exercises, a few minutes of walking meditation, and settled into the den for my sitting meditation. I’m down at my father’s place, helping him […]

Reply
avatar
Seek out Silence « Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.
June 6, 2010 8:35 pm

[…] I wish I did this more, but I’m not good at sitting still.  (Did you know there is walking meditation though?)  Meditating really helps with mental […]

Reply

I have a question that I hope someone at this website can answer: I do a form of what I consider walking meditation where I listen to any sound that comes to my attention, focus on it, until it recedes and then listen to the next sound that haphazardly enters my field of attention. Is this considered a recognized form of meditation? Thanks.

Reply

It’s quite a common practice, David. It’s not something you’ll find in the Buddhist scriptures, but plenty of contemporary Buddhist teachers encourage this practice under names such as “just listening.” Listening reminds us of the value of equanimity, because we can’t control the sounds we hear and so can only accept them. The expansive nature of the awareness we have while listening is also a very useful experience to cultivate. We can connect with a spaciousness of mind that makes it easier to let our experiences pass through without our becoming so caught up in them.

It sounds like you have something very good going on there.

Reply

To Bodhipaksa,
Thanks for your comments. And I appreciate the pun from your last sentence.
db

Reply
avatar
walking a labyrinth « Living the Questions
August 9, 2010 4:40 pm

[…] can also be used for Buddhist walking meditation, in which your focus and awareness stay with your body and all of its movements, simply observing […]

Reply
avatar
What Is Walking Meditation? | ELEV8
August 25, 2010 9:39 am

[…] (wildmind.org) Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action. […]

Reply
avatar
Walking Meditation | Alex Colao
September 6, 2010 1:30 pm

[…] Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action. In walking meditation we use the experience of walking as our focus. We become mindful of our experience while walking, and try to keep our awareness involved with the experience of walking. Actually, there are several different kinds of walking meditation. We’ll just be looking at one of them in detail, although we’ll touch on the others. Once you’ve mastered one form, you’ll easily be able to pick up the others. READ MORE […]

Reply
avatar
Find The Meditation Method That’s Right For You « Welcome at VedantaToday
September 17, 2010 1:13 am

[…] first is called Meditation by Walking which is very popular among monks. This activity is far different from the rest because it combines […]

Reply
avatar
Theresa Warchulski
October 30, 2010 8:04 am

l found this really fascinating l cannot sit still and focusing on something is really hard for me but walking with a purpose is different.
Walking meditation sounds like something l can do, even though as l walk l do a lot of thinking and talking to myself…Does that have any benefits or do l have to keep a clear my mind of everything!!!

Reply

There are definite benefits to walking and reflecting. It was a very traditional practice in ancient Greece that philosophers would walk and talk, or walk and reflect, and I’ve found that walking aids in thinking. But in walking meditation we’re aiming to get beyond our compulsive thinking and to pay more attention to the body so that the mind can begin to slow down.

Reply
avatar
Satori « Beauty in the Breakdown
November 13, 2010 11:20 pm

[…] could mean sitting in a quiet room and just being. This could be a walk around the seawall or lake (walking meditation). This could mean so […]

Reply

I always considered walking meditation to have reached a point when you are meditating anyway or meditating throughout daily activities. Or perhaps a better description, when you realize you are meditating without intention. Spontaneous but consistent meditation without ceasing daily activities.

Reply
avatar
Walking with eyes unfocussed | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother
November 28, 2010 8:33 pm

[…] Buddhists practice walking meditation (see here for example) and the Sivananda school of Yoga prescribes something known as Chankramanam […]

Reply
avatar
A Meditation in Walking | MommyOm
April 19, 2011 10:17 am

[…] Continue reading for wonderful techniques in engaging in more traditional methods of meditation while walking, particularly if you find traditional sitting meditation difficult.  You may be pleasantly surprised to find that a walking meditation may be just the ticket for achieving some inner quiet. Category: Meditation, Spirit  Tags: breath, exercise, fit, fitness, health, healthy, meditate, Meditation, meditation while walking, meditative, mental health, peaceful, relaxation, Spirit, tranquility, walking, walking meditation, weight loss, yoga You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. […]

Reply
avatar
Walking Charlotte | A Healthier Charlotte
April 25, 2011 9:32 am

[…] with some walking meditation to boost energy, focus, and […]

Reply
avatar
Walking for peace of Mind in Pinoso | Pinoso in Colours
September 27, 2011 2:50 am

[…] can be used as a form of meditation.  When you are moving in nature on autopilot, just enjoying your surroundings, creative thoughts […]

Reply
avatar
Make The Steps You Take More Meaningful « YouYoga
September 27, 2011 7:57 am

[…] more information on this topic visit: https://www.wildmind.org/walking/overview Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Making the Case for […]

Reply

We can connect with a spaciousness of mind that makes it easier to let our experiences pass through without our becoming so caught up in them.

Reply
avatar
Schwinn431Girl
November 13, 2011 1:43 pm

I never really called them meditation, but I do know that my morning and evening walks with my dog are a daily ritual that help me deal with the world and center my mind – and keep my puppy happy!

Reply
avatar
Mountain Meditations – Bukhansan « Rumi Supertramp
November 20, 2011 8:53 am

[…] seated meditation, there are other forms of meditation, called meditation in action, such as walking meditation, and as this self-professed non-Zen Buddhist monk (but really, what is a Zen Buddhist monk? Just a […]

Reply
avatar
Walking meditation with your dog | Zen Dog Training Center
January 5, 2012 11:40 am

[…] Kinhin is the Japanese word for walking meditation. […]

Reply
avatar
MBSR: Week 3 | glass half mindful
March 13, 2012 11:53 am

[…] moved from the light yoga practice into a walking meditation for the first time. This was fabulous. As we took time to move, step by step and breathing in […]

Reply
avatar
Mind over Matter | Ki-Stone Wellness
April 3, 2012 10:06 pm

[…] What is walking meditation? | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation […]

Reply
avatar
Mindfulness and Motorcycles - The Age of Will
April 13, 2012 2:13 pm

[…] a walking meditation, which I am in no way trying to minimize, riding and being focused on the environment and the […]

Reply
avatar
What Is Walking Meditation? | Health Advice, Inspiration & Gospel Music for Black America
May 11, 2012 4:23 am

[…] (wildmind.org) Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action. […]

Reply
avatar
What Is Walking Meditation? | The Yolanda Adams Morning Show
May 11, 2012 7:16 pm

[…] (wildmind.org) Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action. […]

Reply

Every day I do walking meditation. It release the stress within me and give peace of mind. While doing this meditation i can concentrate and feel each steps as well as the space between the steps. In walking meditation some times i concentrate on my breath or some word. Recently i presented a paper concerning walking meditation.

Reply
avatar
Emerson, beauty and hiking…
August 8, 2012 12:19 pm

[…] think thoughts both shallow and deep.  I guess I just let them come and go as I walk, similar to a walking meditation in Buddhism.  Awareness of the steps I take and the objects to use and avoid while hiking is part […]

Reply
avatar
Walking Meditation - SWA – TOK
September 24, 2012 9:32 pm
Reply
avatar
Running with Your Head Up « Wishlessness
October 11, 2012 11:35 am

[…] I’m not an avid runner. But what I do is faster than walking, so I call it running. I run. I walk. I run some more. I walk some more. I have no agenda. I don’t time myself. I don’t track distance. I just get a little sweaty and try to be present with the beauty and life around me. […]

Reply
avatar
Try Moving Meditation
October 16, 2012 8:55 am

[…] Walking meditations are practiced all over the world.  The key is to relax and focus your intention on your walking.  Take your time, gather in all the surrounding details, be in that particular moment.  Don’t worry about where you are going, just walk. […]

Reply
avatar
Developer’s Toolkit: The Whiteboard | Mediocre Dreamer
October 28, 2012 10:34 am

[…] around. Pace. Try walking meditation: https://www.wildmind.org/walking/overview. These are all great ways to give your brain the resources it needs to do its […]

Reply
avatar
Avoiding Project Manager Burnout - Project Managementor | Project Managementor
December 29, 2012 1:07 pm

[…] felt after several minutes of meditation is astounding. You can also combine meditation with walking for an added […]

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *