Can walking meditation be a way to find calm amid a life full of distractions?
As humans, walking is our primary mode of transport. We walk to get a cup of coffee
from the kitchen, we walk to catch a bus, or a metro, we even walk with our dogs,
parents and children and alone. But can it be a form of meditation too? It would
become easy if so! It could save us so much time if we double task.
Walking can be an ideal entry point into meditation for those that struggle to focus
whilst seated. This is because when we focus on walking it becomes more difficult for
thoughts to wander. The mind has something to concentrate on in the physical
movement of the body, which takes it away from things that might otherwise draw
our attention.
In today’s world there are so many distractions and so much to keep up with on a
daily basis. Giving the mind time to rest is crucial for it to function optimally.
Generally, the mind jumps from one subject to another, like a monkey jumping from
branch to branch, losing its focus and often entering the dangerous territory of fear
and negativity. Meditation brings the mind back to the here and now and to a
singular, calming focus. When you use walking as a meditative practice:
1. You will be able focus on listening to and directing the movements of your
body.
2. In the process, thoughts and emotions may also come into your awareness.
Rather than allowing these triggers to kidnap your mind, you will choose to
redirect your mind to your body.
3. A walking meditation practice allows a quiet, focused mind to become an
integral part of your life, whether you are walking through your office halls,
walking in your neighbourhood after dinner, or walking for fitness.

Now, Walking Meditation has several types:

1. Walking back and forth on a single path
In this type of meditation, there is no change in terrain which might cause
shortness of breath. The pace is generally slow, thoughtful and methodical
and so the awareness can be turned inwards more easily than in other
types.

2. Walking around labyrinth
Labyrinths are like circular mazes and present a single walking route that
requires no conscious thought to navigate. Labyrinth walking helps to take
away external distractions. As a meditation tool consisting of a walkable
single line path, a labyrinth can be a source of solace and can quiet a
distracted or overactive mind.

3. Mindful Walking Meditation
This is a lovely to way to feel present in your body and
environment. Mindfully walking through the world is where walking
meditation excels. It also helps us to better understand our relationship
with the world around us by opening your senses and connecting better
with the surroundings.

Best Practices to follow during Walking Meditation
There are some best practices that we recommend you to follow while meditating
during walking:

1. Walk at a relaxed, fairly slow but normal pace
2. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you walk.
3. Try not to get attracted towards the sights that you see while walking. Even if
you get drawn to these sights, bring back your attention to what is going on
internally.
4. Keep your attention on the rhythm of the walking – the alternation of left and
right foot.

So, Readers – Set aside at least 20 minutes for your walking meditation, and not
trying to combine it with anything else like going on errands or walking briskly for
exercise. Let this be a walk just for meditation so that you can sink into the
experience with your undivided attention!