Some might scoff at the idea of a walking meditation. For most, the practice involves grabbing a cushion, plopping oneself down with eyes closed, and turning one’s focus within. Who knew that you could meditate while walking around!? If you’ve meditated for any length of time, however, you know that ideally one would cultivate a mindful state in all of one’s daily activities and not just while sitting in the comfort of one’s home. A walking meditation helps a person move in that direction.
Checkout this recent Yoga Journal post from John Cianciosi on the benefits and advantages of a walking meditation as compared to a traditional sitting practice. According to Cianciosi, one purpose of a walking meditation is to train one’s mind to be in a wakeful state. In doing so, it becomes easier to incorporate the practice into all of one’s comings and goings.
Finally, practicing walking meditation greatly facilitates the development of mindfulness in ordinary daily life. If you can learn to establish awareness during walking meditation—when you are physically moving with your eyes open—then it won’t be difficult to arouse that same wakeful quality during other activities, such as practicing yoga, eating, washing dishes, or driving. It will be easier for you to arouse mindfulness while walking to a bus stop, through the park, or during any other time. Your meditation will begin to permeate your entire life.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. It is the presence of mindfulness that keeps your consciousness alive and alert to reality, thereby transforming ordinary life into a continuous practice of meditation, and transforming the mundane into the spiritual.