What are the Differences Between Walking and Sitting Meditation?
Walking meditation requires the individual to keep their eyes open while silencing the mind. In other words, a walking meditative state requires the individual to remain conscious of the outside world while incorporating mindfulness breathing or loving kindness practices. Sitting meditation can have its limitations, especially if the individual decides to meditate indoors on a mattress. Walking meditation enables the individual to become more aware of outside elements, such as the wind, sun, rain, and the sounds of nature. In contrast to counterpart, walking meditation allows the individual to become more intensely aware of their own bodies while its constantly in motion. When people sit down for long periods of time, they start to lose concentration of their own bodily sensations. Fortunately, walking meditation allows individuals to find enjoyment in experiencing these sensations more intensely than they would on a fully conscionable level.
Why Should People Choose Walking Meditation?
A percentage of people who have heard of walking meditation do not have respect for it. In fact, some disregard walking meditation as having any relation to real meditative practices. Unfortunately, nothing can be further from the truth as the populist viewpoint of meditation has become warped with stereotypes of a Buddhist monk who sits with foot-over-knee for hours on end. These misconceptions fail to realize that meditation focuses on defining an individual's internal state, rather than his or her external appearance. Meditation involves the process of making changes to our consciousness in order to find deeper fulfillment and obtain a greater understanding of life.
What are the “Phases” of Walking Meditation?
The general population fails to achieve greater awareness, because they do not understand the core concepts of meditation. People who engage in walking meditation do not follow a formula to achieve a higher level of understanding about the world around them. However, walking meditation does involve a logical sequence commonly referred to as the four principles of mindfulness. These four foundations anchor the mind to prevent it from fragmenting and flowing away as a whole. Walking meditation involves focusing on the existing physical sensations, emotions, mental images and memories, and other objects of consciousness. During each of these phases, the individual finds a way of breaking down complex experiences in order to focus on each element at a time. While walking meditation does not aim for the mastery of these four principles, it does wish to instill a sense of satisfaction after implementing them while moving around in a natural environment.
How Exactly Do People Perform Walking Meditation?
Beginners should find an instructor that will guide them through the steps of walking meditation to achieve the best results. If finding a live instructor seems unfeasible, then purchasing a relevant CD to help guide through the process will suit as an equal alternative. Most of these programs have a duration that lasts about twenty minutes long. The first period of walking meditation involves the simple act of standing in place while shifting one's body weight from the soles of the feet into the ground underneath them. Try to remain aware of the subtle movements that occur underneath the Earth's surface. After soaking in the Earth's energy, start to walk at a fairly slow pace; however, do not behave in an abnormal way. The sole purpose of this exercise is to simply understand the bodily sensations that occur while walking forward. Do not abruptly shift the body weight onto the soles of the feet, instead allow it to roll smoothly without losing concentration. Focus on the centralized weight around the calves and knee joints before noticing the pressuring around the thighs. Notice the muscles around each hip joint and then attempt to relax those muscles. Keep repeating this process for every part of the body until achieving total relaxation. Notice any feelings, thoughts, or emotions that arise as a result of doing this exercise. Stay mindful of these feelings, images, and compulsions until they fully dissolve into inner peace.
- What is Walking Meditation?
- Instructions for Walking Meditation
- The Benefits of Walking Meditation
- Walking Meditation: Stillness in Motion (PDF)
- Walking with Awareness: A Guide to Walking Meditation (PDF)
- Instructions for Walking Meditation (PDF)
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