Definition - What does Walking Meditation mean?
Walking meditation is a form of moving meditation – that is, a shift of consciousness while moving, rather than sitting or lying in stillness while focusing on the breath. Proponents of walking meditation believe that walking also stills the mind and provides a path to contemplation.
Walking a labyrinth is one form of walking meditation, but the walking meditation location does not have to be that structured. A nature path or anywhere that allows 10 to 30 paces works as long as it is a quiet location. The walking is slower than a normal pace and typically involves a particular focus, or it coordinates with the breath.
Yogapedia explains Walking Meditation
With walking meditation, the yogi uses the natural movement to create a mindful practice. It's often recommended that this form of meditation last 10 to 20 minutes or longer and to anchor one's self for one to two minutes with deep breathing before walking.
Some types of walking meditation include:
- Yoga walking meditation – coordinates pranayama with the steps
- Kinhin Zen walking meditation – walking in a clockwise circle around a room with the hands at the belly in a form of mudra and taking a full breath before each step
- Theravada Buddhist walking meditation – walking back and forth on the same 30- to 40-foot path with the focus on the sensations of walking
- Thich Nhat Hanh's walking meditation – repeating specific affirmations while walking slowly and deliberately
- Daoist walking meditation – not a single practice, but many mostly focusing on visualization to harmonize body and mind
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