This Body Sensations Walking Meditation is the first in this set of 4 Walking Meditations.
This page follows on from the main Walking Meditations page, if you have not seen that page, then please click HERE
So assuming that you have studied this introduction page, then when you are ready, let’s start straight off with this first Walking Meditation: –
Begin by just standing still, your hands either loosely by your sides, or else gently clasped in front of you.
(It is best to do this meditation barefoot, but only if that is appropriate for your particular circumstances at the time).
Calmly look downwards to the ground about 10 feet in front of you, and consciously try to relax as much as you can.
Allow your breathing to become slower and deeper, and try to take each of your ‘in’ breaths down into your belly – to the Hara or Dantien point about 4 inches below your navel.
Now begin to slowly take your concentration to different parts of your body in turn, and try to relax each one as you consider it.
Look at the sensations that you can feel from each part – just observe these, but without getting caught up in them –
do not try to analyze these different sensations in any way – just watch them.
First your feet – feel the soles of your feet pressing against the ground, and be aware of the slight differences in pressure as your body makes minute movements to stay in balance.
Just watch these slight changes in the sensations that you feel.
Then take your awareness up to your legs, then your thighs and pelvis – watch those small balancing movements once again, try to relax the muscles in your legs and pelvis.
Move up to the rest of your body, be conscious of the movements of your chest and abdomen as you breathe, relax your shoulders and back as much as possible.
Spend a minute just observing yourself in this beginning non-moving resting stage,
…. and also observing the different sensations from each part of your body.
Then very slowly, begin to take steps forward, starting with your right leg – notice that there are different parts to this –
first you shift your weight onto your left leg, then you raise your right foot, then move it forward, then place it back down on the ground, heel first, then rolling onto the rest of your foot as you transfer all your weight onto that foot and then start the process all over again with the raising of the heel of the left foot.
Continue to take slow steps forward, mentally watching all of your leg movements as you go, and being aware of the sensations that you feel from each leg at each different part of the process of taking steps forward.
Try to take all your awareness down to your legs, and observe every aspect of your movements, every different part.
Keep your hands loose and still at your sides, or else gently clasped in front of you at waist level.
Gradually speed up the pace of your steps, keeping your eyes focused on the ground about 10 feet in front of you, until you are walking at about a normal comfortable relaxed rate.
Keep your concentration on the movements of your legs, and try to move as evenly and smoothly as possible, but without swinging your arms – rather like as in this animated cartoon –
Try to ignore everything else, and just keep your awareness on the physical sensations that you are feeling in your feet, your legs, and then the rest of your body.
Notice how they change in each leg as it moves forward, as compared to those in the other leg.
Be aware of the movements and sensations with the muscles in your hips and back with each step.
Raise you head and then lower it – what changes does that make ?
You probably find that when your head is lowered so that you are looking at the ground about 10 feet in front of you, then it is much easier to be aware of your bodily sensations – but when you raise your head, then other thoughts about the outside world around you begin to come into your mind.
That’s just fine, these thoughts are entirely normal, and will continue to arise.
As with the instructions for the Mantra Meditations that I teach on this website – just observe these thoughts, don’t get caught up in them –
…. but just gently bring your awareness back to the sensations throughout your body each time that these other thoughts arise.
Continue like this for about 20 minutes, and then slow down and stop.
Just mentally observe your body for a few moments, what are you more aware of now ?
Observe the sense of calm and relaxation that you feel, and try to assess what you have learned by doing this particular Walking Meditation.
(If you have been walking on a beach, or somewhere where you have been leaving footprints, then look back at them – see if your footprints are regular, if the right and left ones look about the same depth or not, and so on).
Take a few very deep slow “cleansing” breaths, and have a big stretch.
Repeat this Walking Meditation once daily for up to a week, and then move to the next in the series.
This brings you to the end of the 1st of these 4 Walking Meditations – so if you wish you can click to the 2nd of them HERE