Walking meditation is a less known but very effective way of achieving a meditative state. The advantage that we get in this method is that since the body is in a dynamic state, the level of awareness that we can achieve is higher as compared to when we are sitting or lying down.
Since this method is all about awareness of our connection with the earth, it is better if we avoid wearing any kind of footwear while doing this. Best would be to walk bare feet and have a surface that is different than normal. for example, it would be beneficial to walk on a slightly rough surface, or a lawn or sea shore. That way, being conscious of the feelings or sensations of our feet becomes easier.
In walking meditation, we first relax ourselves, calm down if we are worked up and then start by simply being mindful of our breath as we walk very slowly and gently. After doing this for a few minutes. we simply need to become aware of our feet as they touch the ground. Feel the sole touching the ground below and be aware of this feeling.
Now, while you are aware of your feet, be aware of your breath as well. No need to synchronize your breath with the walking rhythm. Just being aware is good enough. Initially try to walk as slowly as possible, being aware of every micro movement. Be aware of the pressure on your heel, toes and feet. Be aware as the pressure sifts from one leg to the other as you walk and be aware of your entire body as it moves to the next position. Remember that this has to be done very very slowly. Normally, your mind will be completely blank if you are fully aware of your feet and body. However, if you realize that suddenly, your mind has got engaged in a certain thought or emotion, then just stop for a while. be completely steady and pay careful attention to the thought till it subsides. then continue with the walking meditation.
You can keep your hands to the sides and be aware as they sway back and forth as you walk. After a while, I normally start feeling some sensations in my hands, such as tingling or certain vibrations. I keep myself aware of whatever is happening, which further takes me into deeper states of Mindful walking.
Within 5 minutes, you might feel a shift in consciousness. Continue for 5 minutes more. Doing this for at least 10 minutes or more at a time is recommended.
Mindful walking can help us in bringing in a lot of peace and can get rid of negative emotions such as sorrow, anxiety, worries, anger, stress etc. Since, we are being grounded to the earth, it also helps in getting rid of any physical ailments by getting the negative energy that’s inside the body out by passing it down into the loving mother earth.
If done properly and regularly, you will possibly just walk your way to enlightenment !!