Sometimes, we feel so agitated or restless that we find it virtually impossible to settle into a still meditation. This is where a moving meditation can help, and the easiest form this takes is walking.
All you do in a walking meditation is walk and focus on the sensation of walking. You are not trying to get anywhere, so you walk in circles or up and down a line. Ideally this should be somewhere you will not be disturbed; for instance a private room, hall, yard or garden. Walking is generally a pleasant and relaxing experience for both mind and body it is an excellent way to release stress or restless energy.
Begin by focusing on your legs, feet or your whole body. It isn’t the walking speed that matters so much as focusing fully on the activity. Some people need to walk slowly to focus inwards, some find this difficult as they lose their balance and start to wobble. Find the pace that feels relaxed and right to you.
If your mind wanders from the focus, notice where it has gone, then without self judgement bring it back to the walking.
Begin by standing straight, head up with a relaxed neck and shoulders, feet about shoulder width apart, to form a stable, firm base.
Become aware of your balance, how your body shifts slightly back and forth, from side to side. Normally this happens automatically. Become aware of these minor movements.
Then take your awareness to the soles of your feet, roll gently back and forth to emphasise the sensation of your feet against the ground.
Focus on a point in front of you.
Rolling forward, push off with your right foot and s-l-o-w-l-y take a step.
For a couple of seconds, feel how your leg moves through the air. Then the sensation of your heel touching the ground.
Now push off with your left leg. Feel how your right leg muscles are balancing your body as your left leg travels through the air and touches the ground.
Take five slow, fluid steps like this, then stop and turn around. Now walk back to your starting point, close to normal speed this time. This time you may find that you relied more on sight and less on feeling your balance and your senses. By slowing down the pace, we tend to become aware of other, lesser-used senses.
Now continue to walk back and forth, or in a circular direction, at an easy, flowing pace.
Allow your gaze to relax so you are aware of your peripheral vision. Do not look around or focus on anything in particular. Sink your breath into your belly and ‘feel the ground’.
Simply observe any sensations or feelings. Whenever you become aware of any thoughts or sensations, remain mindful and detached and let the sensations go. When a new thought or sensation comes, let that one go. Allow the perpetual, impermanent cycle of thoughts and feelings to come and go, just as the changing sensations in your body come and go as you walk.