How to Do Walking Meditation

By Tergar Meditation Community • 3 min read

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CLEAR MIND, ACHING BACK!

Walking meditation is a great way to start meditating if you’re a beginner. Even if you’re brand new to meditation, there’s one sensation you are sure to be familiar with: the stiff, achy feeling of having been sitting in one position for a long time. Even the most seasoned practitioner will tell you that protracted sessions of meditation can have the side effect of creaky knees and a numb bottom! Here’s the good news: this presents a wonderful opportunity to try walking meditation.

Walking the Walk

When doing body-awareness meditation, you sit still and bring the mind into the body. Walking meditation is the same, but in motion. Simply invite your awareness to the movements you’re making. Feet moving left, right, left. Maybe arms swinging slightly. Any sensation at all that arises — the air with its coolness or warmth, or the breeze you create as you move through space. The feeling of your shoes striking the ground. Whatever you experience, just be aware of it. Walk normally. You don’t need to slow your steps. Be natural, holding mind and body together.

A Valuable In-Between State

For many people, walking meditation is somewhat more difficult than a session on the cushion. It can take practice to get used to maintaining awareness while you’re out in the world, with all its sights and sounds, not to mention other people. So for some people, walking meditation is not quite as easy as sitting, but on the other hand, it is not as chaotic as ordinary action, either. Because it takes place in the junction between those two states, it is especially useful in helping to integrate meditation into your everyday life. This makes it a highly beneficial practice.

WALKING MEDITATION PRACTICE INSTRUCTIONS

Begin session

  • Begin by just standing for a moment. As you are standing, sense how awareness is permeating your entire body; there is a knowing quality that extends to the sensations in your body.

Main practice

  • Next, begin walking normally with your eyes open, and simply be aware of the sensations in your body as you walk. You can be aware of your feet touching the ground or any other place in your body where sensations are prominent.
  • There is no need to focus very hard. All you need is a light touch of awareness of whatever sensations are present.
  • Do not block any other experiences that are taking place as you are walking. Simply let the awareness rest with sensations as you walk.
  • It is completely natural to get lost in sights or sounds as you are walking. Just recognize that this is happening, and gently bring awareness back to the sensations in your body during movement.
  • Bring an attitude of playfulness to this practice, noticing how the mind is present, then gets lost, and then comes back, over and over.
  • During this practice, there might be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral sensations. All three equally support the recognition of awareness.

End session

  • As you reach the end of your walking meditation, stop for a moment and notice the sensations in your body as you stand. Also, appreciate the time you have taken out of your day to engage in this practice.

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More Resources

Walking Meditation

In this video, Mingyur Rinpoche discusses why walking meditation is beneficial but also why it can be challenging.

Try to apply this walking guided meditation by Tergar Instructor Myoshin Kelley in your everyday life.

Joy of Living Online Training

Theory and practice of meditation, step-by-step.

Learn meditation under the skillful guidance of world-renowned teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche at your own pace.

About the Author

By Tergar Meditation Community Team

Tergar Meditation Community supports individuals, practice groups, and meditation communities around the world in learning to live with awareness, compassion, and wisdom. Grounded in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of our guiding teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, our online and in-person programs are accessible to people of all cultures and faiths, and support a lifelong path toward the application of these principles in everyday life.

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