Something trendy these days is “The Walking Meditation.” I hear many people saying that they enjoy doing the walking meditation, but when I ask them, “how do they do it” and “what is it that they like so much about it” their answer always makes me wonder if they know that they are doing it wrong. Here is the most common response to this question:
“I enjoy Walking Meditation because when I go for a walk, I can think clearly about my problems and find the solution easier than sitting in my office.”
Well, this doesn’t sound like a meditation experience to me. Meditation is the conscious observation of the present. While walking, to do the Walking Meditation, you have to think about the walk. Any other thought than the walk itself is just a distraction that pushes your mind away from meditation. If you try to find solutions to your problems while walking, you don’t meditate. You carry your office with you in nature. The fresh air may help you to clear your mind partially. Perhaps it opens a window to the solution in front of your eyes, but meditatively, it doesn’t offer you anything.
Meditation is something more profound; its purpose is to help you balance yourself. It also allows you to know yourself and to understand yourself. Walking meditation is a great tool to understand your body and connect to the earth. Use it like this.
To practice walking meditation correctly, you need to be conscious of what happens in your body while walking. Feel your muscles and how they work together to move you forward. Feel how your feet are connected to the earth in every step. Feel how the air enters your lungs while breathing. Feel your heart and how it beats to send blood to your whole body. Feel the wind on your skin, the sweat that clears your body of toxins. That is meditation. That is a total reprogramming of your mind.
Walking and thinking about solutions makes you stress-addicted. Walking meditation makes you feel mindful. That is the difference. If you practice walking meditation right, you can go back to your office and do miracles. On the other hand, if you use walking as an extension of your office, you need to walk on the right path. Keep this in mind and transform every step into a meditating experience. It is so beneficial that you can’t even imagine!
Fotis Tampas (De Tao).