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This article discusses whether a walking meditation mindfulness and awareness of your surroundings can add to your attempts to slow down your mind. Living life at 100 miles an hour all the time can be harmful to your physical and mental wellbeing!
Here are some things to know about meditating while walking.
On this Page
- 1 Can walking be a form of meditation?
- 2 What’s so great about a walking meditation?
- 3 What benefits will it give me?
- 4 How to do a walking meditation
- 5 Use a walking meditation journal
- 6 Try a Joe Dispenza Walking Meditation Audio
Can walking be a form of meditation?
If you want to develop a regular meditation practice, you should know you don’t always have to do it in a quiet, dark room where you don’t have any distractions.
You can vary your meditation practice and make it more interesting by combining it with times you are doing other activities, such as when you are going for a walk.
You might consider making this combination a daily routine for both the exercise and the mental benefits you would get.
So often we walk from one place to another without really noticing what we are doing. Our walking is automatic and we spend the time thinking about some other thing we have decided is important.
Start regular walking meditations where you practice meditation and mindfulness as you walk. The point is to focus on the walking itself, the movements, your breathing and your surroundings rather than on the journey itself.
Zen12 uses binaural beats to put your mind into a natural, relaxing state conducive to meditation.
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What’s so great about a walking meditation?
The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are well documented so you might imagine that everyone would be doing it.
It is thought that many people make the decision to be more mindful but as many as 90% of them only do it for a short while before they let it lapse.
A fast paced life takes over and taking care of every little thing to do stops them. Setting aside time for mindfulness gets set aside itself. Who has fifteen minutes to sit and do nothing these days?
A walking meditation changes the perception of meditation because it gives you something to do. Many of us also want to be more active and exercise more but also find that difficult to start.
Combining the two boosts our motivation to achieve two beneficial ends higher than trying to achieve each individually.
Walking really is an excellent time to do some meditation. Whether you do it for five minutes around your neighborhood or if you take it more seriously and drive to the beach to walk, it can really affect your life for the better.
It can bring you exercise, peace of mind, joy and happiness.
What benefits will it give me?
Walking meditation benefits are basically the same as regular meditation with the added physical benefits moving and exercise bring.
By walking regularly we develop our physical fitness and build up endurance in our ability to move. It can ease physical ailments such as stress in our legs and stiffness in our joints.
It can help us with digestion after eating and revive us if we are feeling sleepy, either as a result of eating or just after a hard day.
And it doesn’t stop you from whatever your type of meditation was before. If you practice gratitude meditations, these thankfulness meditations can be made easy by walking. As you walk, give thanks for the people, things and feelings you may have in your life.
Alternatively, you can focus on the walking itself as a way to meditate.
How to do a walking meditation
Tips For Getting your walking meditation mindfulness and awareness going:
In order to begin walking meditation, naturally you need to motivate yourself to get moving.
Make it easier for your self by setting low targets initially. Try setting a time after tea when you will just walk out your front door and down your street for just ten minutes.
Don’t be afraid to reward yourself with something initially if you actually carry it out as planned but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t. Activities become habits much easier with positive reinforcements than negative. Just plan it again.
Find out what works best for you. You might find that your mind clears much better when walking around a lake or pond near your house, or just when strolling down the peaceful streets in your own community.
Others discover that they can meditate much better when going on a great walking or walking through the mountains.
What do while you are walking
As you walk, notice what you are feeling. Feel the ground beneath your feet and the movement of your legs and arms as you walk.
Use your senses to become more aware of your surroundings than you usually would.
Take in the visual delight of nature, trees, grass, flowers. What can you see that you wouldn’t ordinarily notice?
Deliberately notice what you can hear. Neighbours cutting the grass. Cars passing by. Sounds of TV sets from open windows.
Become aware of smells. Think about what smells your nose is picking up and identify them.
During your walk, you may notice that you have started to think about problems at work, or what you are going to do when you get back. This inevitable so don’t beat yourself up. Simply thank your mind for putting the thought forward, determine to let it pass by and continue with your meditation.
Things to remember to make it better.
Before you start, here are some things you ought to keep in mind during your mindful walk:
Walk at a a slower pace
If the sole purpose of your walk is for meditation, remember to keep a slower rate. That way, you aren’t focused on the process of walking itself, and but just using it as a way to get some quiet time on your own.
Stay off busy and congested streets
If you have a choice, don’t walk on a busy street, a street with stoplights, or any crowded area at all. You don’t want to be distracted by the need to avoid others or to wait on a light to turn green just to continue your walk across the street.
Bring a few supplies!
It is not unusual to be out longer than you expected.
Even if you only planned a short walk, when you are meditating while strolling, you tend to get so relaxed and into your walk that your body no longer feels aching or tired and you forget to stop.
If that happens and you find yourself farther from home than you planned, you might be glad of the water and granola bar you took with you for the long walk back.
Use a walking meditation journal
If you like to journal, write down your thoughts after each walk in a mindful walking journal such as this.
Try a Joe Dispenza Walking Meditation Audio
If you really want to get into the process, consider getting a specific audio program such as this one to guide you through it:
The main purpose of this meditation is to teach your mind to stay in the present while you are moving.
But note: this audio is meant to accompany Joe’s book, Becoming Supernatural, so you may want to check that out too.
I hope you found my thoughts on how to practice walking meditation mindfulness and awareness interesting and useful. If you did, please consider leaving a comment – It would be great to hear from you.
PS I found this youtube walking meditation video which you may find useful.