Kinhin Walking Meditation

Definition - What does Kinhin Walking Meditation mean?

Kinhin walking meditation is a type of walking meditation that is practiced between two long periods of zazen or sitting meditation. The is practice is most commonly associated with the Zen tradition, but it is also common in Chan Buddhism and Korean Seon.

The instructions for kinhin walking meditation are very precise and the intention is to maintain the focus and presence of the meditation while allowing the practitioner to move. Kinhin walking meditation extends the period of time a person is able to meditate for.

Yogapedia explains Kinhin Walking Meditation

In kinhin walking meditation, practitioners walk around the room clockwise, clasping their hands in shashu. Shashu is a grasp where the left hand is in a fist while the right covers it. The practitioner is meant to focus on every aspect of their physical posture while they walk in rhythm with their breath.

One method for walking with the breath in kinhin is:

  • Exhale as the ball of front foot presses into the ground and the rear leg relaxes.

  • Inhale as the body relaxes and takes half a step forward.

The posture of the upper body except for the hand position is the same as in zazen, with lower belly relaxed, neck relaxed, chin tucked in and gaze down.

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