How to do walking meditation (plus free ‘Mindful moments’ video course)

Dear Integral Meditators,

This week’s post has two components. The second is a series of five free videos for you to follow along to that I did with the Movement for modern life yoga website in the summer. The first is an article on how to do walking meditation.

In the spirit of mindfulness in the moment,


The Basic Fundamentals of Walking Meditation

Many people who think of meditation often think of a formal exercise involving sitting still on a chair or cushion with our eyes closed. It can come as a bit of a surprise to such people to find out that walking can be considered a form of meditation practice, and that walking meditation can become a major part of our daily routine, contributing substantially to or overall consciousness development and sense of inner peace and centred-ness. It is well worth investing the time and effort in learning to do walking meditation, as we spend a substantial portion of our day walking from one destination to another, and if we know how to walk in a meditative manner, then time spent walking can become time spent relaxing and meditating!

Walking meditation can be simply defined as any walk that we undertake where we are using the process of walking to develop our mindfulness, awareness of the present moment and other states conducive to inner peace and happiness. Below I describe some very simple walking meditation techniques that can be used by anyone. Be sure to begin your walking meditation with a conscious decision to stop worrying about your personal life, work projects etc., and to focus on enjoying the process of walking in the here and now!

Initial concentration builders:

Method 1
Walking at a pace that is comfortable for you note how many steps it takes you to breathe in and breathe out, then combine your observation of your breathing with your steps. Let’s say it takes you three steps to breathe one in breath and three to breathe out. As you take each step on the inhalation inwardly say to yourself “In”, and as you breathe out with each step say “out”. So the basic pattern in this example would be in, in, in, out, out, out, in, in, in, out, out, out and so on. Try and get yourself into a rhythm use it to keep your attention in the here and now.

Method 2
A simple variation on method one. Let’s stay with the rhythm of three steps in and three steps out. As you breathe in you recite “step, step, focus”, as you breathe out “step, step, relax”. Continue in this way using the last step of the inhalation to prompt yourself to focus, and the last step of the exhalation to prompt you to relax. If you like you can substitute other words for the focus/relax combination, for example here/now, present/awareness, calm/ease. Choose a combination that is effective and pertinent to you!
Method 3
Pick an object a distance in front of you, such as a tree. Then, as you walk toward it, try and be mindful of the tree and of the present moment with each step and each breath that you take. Once you reach the object, relax for a few steps/breaths, then pick out another object in the distance to focus on in the same way. Build your mindfulness based upon your awareness of the physical object, your breathing and your steps.

Once you have a little bit of focus:

Method 1
As you walk and breathe, pick one sense power, such as your hearing or sight. Try and focus on that sense power mindfully, being aware of all the information that is coming into your awareness through that sense door. So, if you choose your hearing for example, try and pick out all the sounds that are available to you, the wind in the trees, the bird calls, the distant waterfall, the traffic, and so on… Pay full attention to this one sense power with each step, try and experience this as if it is the first time that you have heard, seen or felt it.
Method 2
Once you have some experience of method 1, expand your sensory awareness to take in the whole experience of walking in the present moment. With each step and breath try and experience walking in and experiencing the physical and sensory world as if for the first time. Allow time to disappear, so that the full power of the present is able to impact itself upon your being.

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Mindfulness in moments free video course:

Simply click on the links to follow along to a five minute meditation on the following topics. You can experience the entire course in its fullnessfor free simply by clicking on the individual links below:

  1. Mindfulness of the body
  2. Finding focus through mindfulness of the breathing
  3. Mindfully releasing stress
  4. Mindfulness of your thoughts
  5. Cultivating stillness

A little more on the mindfulness in moments course:
Perhaps you’re completely new to mindfulness, or perhaps you’ve always been meaning to give it a go. Perhaps you’re just curious to know what it means and what’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation anyway? Either way, meditation and mindfulness teacher, Toby Ouvry, is here to help.
The Mindful in Moments Challenge is designed to help anyone get started and begin reaping the benefits of a daily mindfulness practice. Mindfulness can help you to find inner peace, deal with stress and empower yourself to gain control over how you experience your reality.
Our minds are always focused on something, it’s just a case of whether that is causing us to feel happy and balanced or disconnected and unhappy.  Learn to use mindfulness to become aware of where your mind is going in just 5 minutes a day!

Integral Meditation Asia

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