Most of us hold the idea in their minds that, meditation is all about sitting idle at one place and concentrating on a single thought or object.
The objective of this article is to make clear the different concepts of meditation, which people are practicing around the world.
Through this, you will know another exciting practice of meditation. The purpose of meditation is to bring peace and pleasure in your life. It can bring this peace in your life even when you are walking.
Different communities are practicing meditation on a large scale, nowadays. Meditation is a great source to relieve stress and people have invented varieties of meditation techniques.
Not only that, such exercises can also help build self-confidence and self-esteem.
And most importantly, just like any other exercise, it can help you maintain your good health and keep you in great shape.
These techniques make use of meditation easier. Slow Walking Meditation is one of the examples of such easygoing techniques. Walking meditation has been practiced for a long time already.
Introduction to Slow Walking Meditation
Meditation is an art. A method. A skill. A process. It is the art of keeping in touch with yourself, of discovering your entirety and the many facets of your being. It is also a skill that must be developed. It requires discipline and a right mindset.
You cannot simply think that you will meditate and expect to achieve a result right after. This requires the tuning of one’s consciousness.
Meditation typically involves a set of procedures and guidelines to be followed. Typically, the success of the activity will depend on the adherence to the given principles and rules.
One interesting form of meditation that deviates from the old and traditional concept is walking meditation.
Walking meditation is a lot different from other forms of meditation known to many.
For one, you will not have to be physically inactive just to do it.
In fact, you need to move and be active – you need to walk! You have to actively engage your mind and your body in this activity in order to experience a holistic positive result. This brings another benefit. Since walking is a daily activity, you can actually grow by meditation daily!
Walking Meditation had gained attractiveness after Buddhist’s practices. Actually, they were dedicated people, who did not want to break their concentration even during their journey.
This activity is far different from the rest because it combines physical activity with mind conditioning in order to relieve stress immediately.
It was another problem that they had to travel far away places on foot. In this way, only a sitting posture for meditation was sometimes not convenient. Walking meditation brings a message that one can get peace everywhere.
You can meditate in different walking speeds. There is another type of walking meditation which involves walking at your speed.
We will concentrate on walking at a slow speed in our discussion. So, what we have to do when are going to start this type of meditation.
The most important thing while starting this method is to slow down your speed. The second important thing is to place your foot slowly on the ground. The technique here is to match the breaths with your walk.
For example, you will place your foot on the ground while taking breaths. The purpose of carrying out this technique is bringing compatibility among inner physiological processes with the focus on walking.
In order for this to work, you just have to find a place where you can walk like a circular path or a track. The reason why is because you want to follow a pattern in order to help your mind rest.
Of course, you will still have to breathe and walk at a slow pace. You might get distracted especially if there are other people on the track and when this happens, simply acknowledge it and continue what you are doing.
How will you prepare for Walking Meditation?
So the important thing is to find out how you will prepare for walking meditation? This is quite a simple thing to learn.
The initial thing for you to do is choose a flat ground to walk. Ups and downs during walk can produce difficulty in focusing your attention.
It can be a circular track, a sports field, or even a large garden good enough for walking on. Start by walking the path in order to get to know the route.
First, stand in a way that both of your feet are close to each other. Don’t walk rapidly. You have to bring your concentration towards your body parts before starting walking.
Try to walk slowly. As you are walking try to mentally be aware of how your body is functioning as it moves. Do not attempt to criticize every function or movement. Just try to be aware of how your body moves or works as it walks.
Take deep breaths and try to feel different sensations of your body. As you do this, try to be conscious of your body. Feel or sense your entire body and be aware of its every parts.
This practice will help you to connect to your own self. Note your current feelings and emotions.
The purpose of such awareness is not to try to change any of the states but to make you aware of your bodily sensations and spiritual state. Awareness is the first thing to take care of if you want to bring a change in something.
Practicing Slow Walking Meditation
The next step after preparation for walking meditation is to actually practice it. The most important thing is that you will exhale and inhale your breath with every step.
There is confusion. Mostly, people do not understand whether they have to control their breathing with footsteps or, vice versa. One should remember that he has to take footsteps with his breathing cycle.
Managing your footsteps with your breathing cycle is the crux of the technique. Now, try to set the timings of your footstep with your breath.
When you are lifting your heel from the ground, this should be the time, when you are inhaling the breath.
When your foot is in the air, this should be the temporary period of breathing. And finally, when you place your foot on the ground you should be exhaling the breath again.
This may be a bit difficult at the start, and you may find it irritating. When you reach at the end of the line, turn at 180-degree and start your walk again.
Experts highly recommended that taking a short break between such meditation session and routine activities.
The reason behind this is that mind enters into a peaceful state during meditation so; one should give time to mind to face hustle and bustle of the outer world.
This is all about slow walking meditation, and in this way, you should adapt this technique in your life.
At first it might come off as silly for some people. But just like any other forms of meditation, it is not something that you should rush. You need to get comfortable with it.
Sometimes distractions may come and they usually do. It is normal, especially on the initial days that a thought comes into your head like: “This is silly” or, “I have to do the dishes”.
When they do, just try to push them gently away, and continue on with your walking. You can do this for 10 or 15 minutes, take a bit of rest, and then get on with your normal routine in life.
As you get familiar with this meditation technique, actually, a noisy and crowded place is even encouraged. Here is where the challenge lies. Concentration is important and awareness must be focused.
You must not allow the outer world to bind your mind into it – by the things that you see, hear, or whatever you perceive. You may be aware of them, but you must guard not to do anything about them. Do not cling to anything.
The guiding principle behind walking meditation is achieving a balanced awareness, equilibrium, between your inner self and the outer world surrounding you.
This meditation will invite you to feel your entire body, all the workings of the parts that make you up, being aware how each of your body parts operates. While doing this, you also have to notice your emotion and your mood. These are all done while you walk.
The outside world need not be lost in your focus. There will always be stuffs that will catch your attention as you meditate, and you are not to resist.
You are not to hang on to these, though. You have to let them pass by, observing them without doing anything at all.
This is the real sense of awareness. The ideal result of walking meditation is the person’s consciousness of the outside world while being completely aware of his inner self.
When this is achieved, many of the puzzles and complexities of life will become clearer and simpler.
By bridging the gap between what is within and what is out of yourself, you can take full control of your life and enjoy a healthier and a more satisfied lifestyle.