Thursday, October 18, 2007

walking meditation

Walking meditation consists of paying attention to the walking process. If you are moving fairly rapidly, make a mental note of the movement of the legs, "Left, right, left, right" and use your awareness to follow the actual sensations throughout the leg area. If you are moving more slowly, note the lifting, moving, and placing of each foot. In each case you must try to keep your mind on just the sensations of walking. Notice what processes occur when you stop at the end of the lane, when you stand still, when you turn and begin walking again.

Do not watch your feet unless this becomes necessary due to some obstacle on the ground; it is unhelpful to hold the image of a foot in your mind while you are trying to be aware of sensations. You want to focus on the sensations themselves, and these are not visual. For many people it is a fascinating discovery when they are able to have a pure, bare perception of physical objects such as lightness, tingling, cold, and warmth.

Walking meditation is usually divided into three distinct movements: lifting, moving, and placing the foot. If you have a difficult time connecting with the inner-body, place your attention on your breath. When you do make the connection with the breath, feel your hands. Then start feeling other parts of your body as you feel the in and out flow of your breath. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. It's important that you direct the breath into the lower abdomen. Doing this will bring a sense of calmness to the walk.

-- from an email invitation for a walking meditation by a "power of now" group

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