Walking Meditation

 

Walking Meditation – A Buddhist Tradition

Most Westerners think of meditation as someone sitting down, cross legged with their eyes closed and probably chanting some kind of mantra over and over again.

But that is only one of the ways that people can practice meditation. Meditating can also be performed standing up, lying down or walking.
 
Today, we're going to look at walking meditation. In this situation, the walking itself is the focus of your meditation, rather than a candle or a mantra…

 Before dawn, a Buddhist monk stands beneath a tall pine in a long brown robe the color of Mother Earth. He rings a bronze bell suspended from a low-hanging limb to signal it's time for walking meditation.

By the light of a crescent moon, monks and nuns in the same brown robes walk slowly, silently. The crunch of gravel and the tap of footsteps on blacktop are the only sounds in the cool air. They focus on two things: breathing and walking. They may silently repeat a simple phrase.

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.

They don't let their minds wander. They neither wonder what's for breakfast nor worry about the potatoes that need to be planted. They don't wish for the excitement of an upcoming retreat or weigh important decisions. They simply bring their minds to the present moment: the coo of a dove, the caw of a crow, and the first rays of golden sunlight that brush the maple leaves….

    In this example of Buddhist monks practicing walking meditation we can see that not only do they concentrate on walking but also on breathing and possibly may even use a mantra. Meditation is not an exact science and in most situations it is for you to work out what works for you 

    "Our master, he walks very slow with his beautiful practice of walking meditation," Sister Thang Nghiem said. "But one time we got caught in traffic, and the flight was on time."

    So they rushed to the gate.

    "I was behind him, and it was almost like running meditation," she said, laughing. "The practice should be fun, flexible and skillful."…More at Ever mindful: Buddhist monastics practice simple life of meditation in Mississippi

    How important is a sense of humor? Even when doing something as spiritual as a walking meditation, humor has its place. If we make it too serious and too inflexible we take away some of its beauty

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