Most people who meditate regularly do so in a sitting or lying position. For most people, it is difficult to sit or lie in the same position for so long. The people who meditate in a lying position fall asleep. The people who sit are annoyed by itches and pinching clothing. For all those who have trouble sitting still while meditating, a walking meditation is an excellent solution. It requires some practice, but you will get used to this way of meditation with the tips below.
Even if you’ve never tried it, you may be amazed at how simple it really is, and you will be disappointed that you haven’t tried it before. What I personally like about walking meditation is that you can do two things at the same time. On the one hand, you benefit from your daily movement routine. On the other hand, it brings you peace of mind and all the other advantages meditation brings.
Meditation, brainwaves, and the subconscious
Many people dismissed meditation, especially those who have never really studied it – as “fuzzy, not for me, and way too spiritual.” Meditation is nothing more than calming the mind with conscious attention. You put yourself in a trance that you also know from traveling long distances by car, where you suddenly think: “Gosh, am I here already?”
While meditating, you slow down the dominant brainwaves in the brain, so you relax. With the slower brainwave patterns such as alpha and theta, you can tap straight into your subconscious brain and draw on the wisdom that your conscious mind is unaware of. It is for a reason you only know where you left your car keys as soon as you relax your mind.
As with other forms of meditation, you must put yourself in a trance with calm attention. You can also do this with a walking meditation, a form of meditation where you put yourself in a trance while walking. Below you will find everything you need to know about walking meditation.
What is walking meditation?
Walking meditation is the practice of meditation during a walk, where you focus on the breath and focus the eyes on a point on the horizon. While walking, you will notice that as the trance deepens, walking becomes more natural. By relaxing your shoulders and arms, you will see that it’s easier to keep your eyes on the horizon.
Practicing a walking meditation is, in fact, as easy as it sounds. And besides, a walking meditation doesn’t even have to last very long. You are already in a trance within 10-15 minutes. When you are more experienced, you can be in a trance within a few minutes. Most people walk somewhere or take a lunch stroll every day. Of course, you can also opt for a more extended walking meditation. Just what feels good for you.
Tips for a walking meditation
When you are going for a walking meditation, you will initially have to practice. Unfortunately, there is no definition for a successful walking meditation, but fortunately, there are guidelines. Personally, I do a walking meditation almost every morning and have been doing so for over two years. So I can call myself reasonably experienced. My tips below are based on my own experiences and mainly serve as a guideline; you have to see what you like best personally.
- When you start walking, first pay attention to your posture. As with other types of meditation, posture is important when walking. Make sure you have a relaxed posture, so let your shoulders and arms hang comfortably. Be aware of how your feet make contact with the ground. Good for grounding!
- Preferably walk in a quiet environment. Especially in the beginning, when you practice, you will notice that you will still easily get distracted. As you get better control over your attention, you will find that you can even meditate at a busy train station. Despite my years of experience, I always like to walk between 4 and 5 in the morning.
- Choose a route where you do not have to pay attention to protruding branches, slippery tree roots, or loose boulders. All of those factors will make you have to focus your attention outward instead of inward.
- While walking, keep your eyes on a point on the horizon. After a while, you will notice that your gaze will fade, and you will have to refocus to get that point back into focus. Remember that you don’t have to keep that point sharp. It just indicates that you are getting into a trance. However, keep your eyes on the horizon.
- As you get more into a trance, you will notice that the walking goes more automatically. You hardly have to put in any more effort. So do not walk faster or slower. Feel for yourself what is a comfortable pace for you personally.
- Just like with other forms of meditation, your attention will sometimes wander with a walking meditation. It doesn’t matter. Just return your attention to your breathing.
- If you have trouble getting into a trance – I had this myself in the beginning – it can be helpful to use binaural beats. For this, you have to use headphones since the sounds play a different signal into each ear, which changes your brainwaves.
- Another way to get into a trance more quickly is to do a guided meditation, where a voice guides you during your meditation.
Benefits of walking meditation
The benefits of walking meditation are the following:
- If you have trouble sitting still, a walking meditation is a godsend.
- The movement has an almost magical effect on the functioning of the brain. You could say that movement of the body produces “movement” in mind. The best ideas are born in motion. You can suddenly come up with solutions for problems that have been around for years. Through the light but comfortable effort, you have a better blood flow, also to the brain.
- The fresh outside air is always healthier to breathe than the air in a living room or other enclosed space.
Walking meditate with gratitude and heart coherence
Walking meditation is an excellent opportunity to evoke a sense of gratitude and heart coherence. When you are in a trance state, and your breathing deepens, you can easily evoke a feeling of appreciation and gratitude.
During your walking meditation, make it your mission to appreciate what is happening inside. Feel a warm feeling in your chest area and breathe through your heart area.
I can evoke an ASMR experience, where my scalp tingles as if ice water is flowing over. It just gives a wonderful feeling of gratitude and can even trigger emotional reactions. Sometimes I get tears in my eyes. Just from realizing how beautiful life is.
When you are in a state of gratitude, it is easy to get into a state of heart coherence. Especially if you have the HeartMath equipment to measure heart coherence, you will notice how great walking meditation can be to add to your repertoire to improve yourself, rationally, emotionally, and physically!
Walking meditation by dr. Joe Dispenza
This video describes a guided Walking Meditation like dr. Joe Dispenza uses during his retreats.