Buddhism

What is Buddhist Walking Meditation?

Definition

A form of meditation in action, which focuses on the experience of walking itself to increase mindfulness.

It is a matter of one’s awareness of movement as one notices the component parts of the steps.

Walking meditation alternates with sitting meditation, so as to balance the meditation practice. It serves as a vigorous way to energies the practice if sitting meditation makes one dull or one is becoming over concentrated.

Why Practice Walking Meditation:

One practices meditation because one wants to remove attachment and desire for objects. One removes cravings by understanding the three characteristic of existence—impermanence, suffering as well as non-self nature of things.

Why does one want to remove craving? Because no one wants to suffer. Craving and attachment are always going along with suffering. One must realize the substantialness of things and mind. The best way to remove attachment and craving is to practice active meditation but not by verbal practice. It is advised to have the direct experience that all conditioned things are featured by the three characteristics.

How to Practice Walking Meditation:

  • Select a place available to move back and forth, around ten to twenty steps in length. Keep hands either behind the back, at the sides or in front.
  • Stand upright and find the feeling of standing. Keep aware of the contact between body and ground. Let the entire energy field of the body participate in the standing. Hands, shoulders and the lower back should play their part in balancing respectively.
  • Be aware of the body parts while walking. Be aware of the feeling of the foot and the ankle as the heel first makes contact with the ground. Great attention should be taken to the lower legs, the temperature of the body, muscles, knees, hips, jaws, neck and eyes. Relax the body parts and allow yourself lost in the contemplative practice itself but not the outside objects passing by.

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