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Walking Meditation

A walking meditation is designed to bring body and mind in sync while we’re out and about. And if you don’t like to sit and close the eyes to meditate, this is a great alternative that still trains the mind in awareness.


There are different types of approaches to walking meditation, most of which depend on your location.


Simply follow each cue for about 30-60 seconds:


Body check


As you start to walk, notice how the body feels. Heavy or light, stiff or relaxed? Take a few seconds to become aware of your posture and the way you’re carrying yourself.


Observe


Without trying to change the way you’re walking, simply observe your gait. Bring your attention to it.


Tune in


Tune into what’s going on around you — passing cars, other people, window displays, trees, the movement and still of things, or any other sights that come into your awareness field. You’re not thinking about any of these things, though; you’re simply acknowledging what you see.


Noting sounds


Notice the sounds that drift in. What can you hear?


Familiar smells


Now turn your attention to any smells, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Notice how the mind habitually wants to create a story out of each smell and how it might remind you of somewhere, something, or someone.


Physical sensations


Next, make a point of noticing any physical sensations, from how the weather makes you feel to how it feels as the sole of your feet touch the ground. Simply notice, acknowledge, and let go.


Movement


After a minute or two, contemplate the sensation of movement in the body: how the arms hang or swing by your side or how the weight steadily shifts from right to left. Observe your stride, your pace, and the rhythm you’ve become accustomed to.


Focus on your rhythm


Use that rhythm — the soles of the feet touching the ground — as your base of awareness, a place you can mentally come back to when the mind wanders off. Repeat this throughout your walk, step by step, block by block, or mile by mile.


These steps are guidelines, not rules, so adapt them to fit your walk, wherever you go or however long it takes.

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