Daoist Walking Meditation

Definition - What does Daoist Walking Meditation mean?

Daoist walking meditation is a type of walking meditation recommended in the Chinese Daoist tradition as a way to bring body and mind into harmony. There isn't one single method of practicing Daoist walking meditation, but instead many techniques which can all be considered part of the practice. These techniques often involve the use of visualization. Compared with other traditions which teach walking meditation, Daoist walking meditation sometimes has more of a focus on physical health and well-being, although it also has mental and spiritual benefits.

Yogapedia explains Daoist Walking Meditation

There are various different exercises which can be performed within Daoist walking meditation. These can be performed independently and don't need to be completed as part of a sequence or specific order. A few examples of these are:

  • Ball of energy - This technique comes from the Wang Liping lineage. It involves walking slowly, and inhaling and exhaling for the same step count. As the practitioner inhales, they visualize a field of energy drawing in to the lower belly, or dantien. As they exhale they visualize it expanding to a ball around them.
  • Pulled by the dantien - This is where the dantien becomes the center of movement, and the practitioner visualizes themselves being guided forwards from this center. It is said to be both grounding and energizing.
  • Martial walking - This comes from Daoist martial arts such as Taiju, Bagua and Xingyi. Its focus is on walking in a specific way to cultivate greater physical health.
  • Aimless walking - This embodies the principle of wu wei, or non-doing to move without any sense of purpose, intention or aim

All forms of Daoist walking meditation are considered energy work in some way, working with awareness and often visualization of the subtle energies of the body. The practitioner cultivates a relaxed state of awareness, with the body aligned in a certain way, and the intention set from the beginning in order to bring physical, mental and spiritual benefits.

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