Considerable walking every day is unavoidable for many and a necessity for all of us. If this prime time is used for meditation as well, we can accelerate our spiritual progress far amidst busy schedule. The Buddha advised walking meditation to remove exertion, develop concentration and remain in constant mindfulness. One can meditate differently during sitting, lying, standing and walking condition to make it a part of daily living.
Walking meditation is an intense experience of mindfulness of whatever happens within our body, mind, emotions and surroundings when we walk. Breath being central to any practice of meditation, we may start with focus on breathing, how the rhythm of walking synchronise with inhalation and exhalation. Count the steps during each inhalation and exhalation and focus on heartbeat, how the fresh air spreads within to energise the whole body and removes fatigue. Notice the difference during pause and stop.
Now focus your attention to the sensation of the entire body in sequence, soles of the feet, ankles, lower legs, thighs, hip-joints, pelvis, spine, belly, chest, arms, finger, shoulder, neck, jaws, eyes etc. gently looking ahead. Notice the tension and relaxation in each body part during movement.
Be aware of your feelings during walking, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral and let them drift without any attachment to any. Notice the emotional responses like joy, hatred, irritability etc arising out of them and thoughts as they pass by without any judgement. Experience the balance between inner and outer world with calmness and clarity. Come to a natural halt and experience letting go with proper awareness.
You can spread your love and kindness to all while walking. Imagine a blooming lotus or a rising sun in your heart centre spreading love, light and freshness to the entire surrounding as you walk. Spread vibration of compassion, peace and love.
Walking meditation enables us to use physical, mental and emotional experiences of walking as the basis of developing greater awareness and take it to working life. It makes us live in pure awareness like a lotus leaf unaffected by external associations.