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Walking Meditation by Nina Correa
What is Walking Meditation?

I’d heard of the practice of Walking Meditation, but I never took it seriously. My training in meditation was based on sitting still and allowing my thoughts to become still. How could a person walk while meditating?

Recently, I researched Walking Meditation more thoroughly, but the only practices I discovered suggested methods that seemed alien to me. Walking Meditation was compared to the practice of TaiJiQuan or QiGong, wherein the practitioner concentrated on their movements while quieting their minds.

Then I remembered a practice I do myself that I never put a name to, and I realized that I was practicing Walking Meditation! It started many years ago quite by accident. I was walking down the street with a friend. All of a sudden, I became aware of my legs - walking. I didn’t have to be consciously aware of the fact that my legs were moving in order to move down the street. I was like a head moving without being aware of anything that my body was doing. As I concentrated on my legs, I noticed that my other thoughts vanished.

Over the years, I found that there were times my mind was so involved with its own thoughts that I wasn’t aware of anything else. Sometimes the thoughts got so intense that they became like a movie I was writing without any basis in reality. I imagined all sorts of scenarios: “What if?...” And I came across so many other people who were doing the same thing - thinking everything to death.

So, I came up with my own form of Walking Meditation. I’ve given my method to others in the past, especially when they’ve gotten themselves so embroiled in their own “What if...?”s that they turned themselves into nervous wrecks. They told me that it worked!

You can practice Walking Meditation anywhere at any time. I’ve even done it in the past when I was confined to a wheelchair. The idea of “walking” doesn’t necessarily involve moving your legs.

My Method of Walking Meditation

As you walk (move), feel every part of your body automatically going through the motions. Feel your heart pumping, your lungs inhaling and exhaling, your muscles performing just what they’re supposed to be doing. Do you have to force any of the movements? No, they just naturally do their thing. Leave them alone now - they don’t need you attention.

Look around you. What do you see? A tree? Do you name the tree - is it an oak or a pine tree or a maple? Does it matter? Don’t think about what you know intellectually about the tree. Just look at it. Look at the bark, the leaves - examine it as though you’d never seen a tree before. Isn’t it an incredible life force?

Look at everything you see as though you were seeing it for the first time. A flower, a building, a street sign, a rock, a cloud. See the contours and the colors. Experience each thing, as though you were inside of it.

Listen. What do you hear? A dog barking, a truck roaring down the road, an airplane, the wind? Do you give each sound a name? Don’t name the sounds. If you name them, you’ll come up with opinions about whether it’s a welcome sound or a disturbing sound. Is it necessary to differentiate between the roar of an engine and the babble of a brook? Every sound can be delightful if you don’t search for its source.

Feel. What do you feel? The wind on your face, the warmth of the sun, your muscles in action? Let your skin welcome every one of the sensations.

Smell. How often do you actually smell the air? Maybe you’re just aware of the smells that are overpowering - categorizing them as pleasant smells or unpleasant smells.

Let everything swirl around you and enter you. When you stop thinking about what you’re experiencing or making judgements about what you’re experiencing, then you can actually experience. A smile will appear on your face for no apparent reason. You’ve let yourself become like the wind, the flower, the sky. It’s okay. Enjoy.

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