How to Practice Buddhist Walking Meditation

Although Buddhist meditation is usually associated with sitting in the lotus position, you can also practice walking meditation. By practicing mindfulness as you walk, you can make this kind of meditation part of your everyday life—just be careful crossing the street.

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Find your inner calm with these meditation techniques.

You Will Need

  • Understanding and acceptance of what you are going to do
  • An area to walk in
  • A meditation track on a music player or a watch or clock

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Decide when & where

    Decide when and where you will practice the walking meditation. For beginners, a large room or an outdoor spot free from obstacles, like a running track or open field, are ideal.

  2. As you become more skillful, you can practice the walking meditation anywhere, even going from your car to the office or on a busy city street.

  3. Step 2

    Decide how long

    Decide how long you will practice. Fifteen minutes is a good amount of time for beginners. You can play a meditation track on a music player that corresponds to the amount of time you’ve chosen, or use a watch or clock as a timer.

  4. Step 3

    Stand still & upright

    Stand still and upright, becoming aware of the ground supporting your feet and the balance of your body as you stand.

  5. Hands are generally lightly clasped in front or behind the body.

  6. Step 4

    Lift right foot

    Lift your right foot, noticing the weight of your foot at the end of your leg. Be mindful of the word 'right.'

  7. Step 5

    Slowly step forward

    Slowly take a step forward, noticing your change in balance. As you put your foot on the ground, notice the pressure and the ways your balance readjusts.

  8. Step 6

    Lift left foot

    Lift your left foot and take another step, still noticing the changes of weight and balance. Be mindful of the word 'left.'

  9. Step 7

    Bring awareness to stages of each step

    As you keep walking, bring your awareness to the stages of each step: the raising of the heel off the ground, the lifting of the whole foot, the pushing of the foot forward, the dropping of the foot back onto the ground, and the pressing of the foot into the ground as you shift weight onto that leg.

  10. Step 8

    Walk & stay aware

    Continue to walk, staying aware at all times of the changes in balance of your body, of everything you feel.

  11. Keep your eyes focused about 6 to 8 feet in front of you to avoid distractions, but be aware of anything around you that might pose a hazard.

  12. Step 9

    Reflect on experience

    Stop walking when it’s a safe moment to do so, and stand still for a few seconds to reflect on your experience.

  13. Practicing walking meditation before sitting mediation can improve concentration during the latter.

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