Something that is very popular these days is “The Walking Meditation”. I hear many people saying that they enjoy to do the walking meditation but when I ask them how they do it and what is this that they like so much about it, their answer always makes me wonder if they know that they do it wrong. Here is the most common answer to this question:
“I enjoy doing the walking meditation because when I go for a walk I can think clearer about my problems and I find the solution easier than sitting in my office”.
Well…this doesn’t really sound like a meditation experience to me. If you have read my article about “How to enter the world of meditation” you know my opinion. Meditation is the conscious observation of the present. While walking, in order to do the walking meditation you have to think about the walk. Any other thought than the walk itself is just a distraction that pushes your mind away from your meditation. If you try to find solutions to your problems while walking you don’t really meditate. You just carry your office with you in the nature. Maybe the fresh air helps you to partially clear your mind. Maybe it opens a window to the solution that was in front of your eyes but meditatively it doesn’t offer you anything at all.
Meditation is something deeper and its purpose is to help you balance yourself. It also helps you to know yourself, to understand yourself. Walking meditation is a great tool to understand your body and connect to the earth. Use it like this.
In order to practice walking meditation correctly you need to be conscious about what happens in your body while walking. Feel your muscles how they work together to move you forward. Feel how your feet are connected to the earth in every step. Feel how the air enters your lungs while breathing. Feel your heart how it beats to send your blood to your whole body. Feel the wind on your skin, the sweat that clears your body from toxins. That is meditation. That is a total reprogramming of your mind.
Walking and thinking about solutions simply makes you stress-addicted. Walking meditation makes you feel mindfulness. That is the difference. If you practise the walking meditation the right way, you can go back to your office and do miracles. On the other hand, if you use walking as an extension of your office you don’t really walk on the right path. Keep this in mind and transform every step you make to a meditating experience. It is so beneficial. You can’t even imagine!
How does your walking meditation place look like? Is it near the nature or down-town? Is it close to the sea or in a forest?
Let me know about it.
Fotis De Tao.