Leslie Booker presents step-by-step instruction.
Within the 4 foundations of mindfulness, as specified by the famed Satiphatthana Sutta, the Buddha presents 4 postures for working towards meditation:
A monk is aware of, when he’s strolling,
he is aware of, when he’s standing,
he is aware of, when he’s sitting,
he is aware of, when he’s mendacity down,
“I’m mendacity down”;
or simply as his physique is disposed
so he is aware of it.
Strolling meditation is commonly described as a meditation in movement.
On this follow, you place your full consideration on the method of strolling—from the shifting of the load in your physique to the mechanics of putting your foot. Strolling meditation is an integral a part of retreat life in lots of traditions and is used to offset and shift the power of sitting follow. It’s a bridge to combine follow into day by day life and may be extra accessible than a sitting follow for many individuals.
Discover an unobstructed area the place you’ll be able to stroll in a straight line for about ten ft. This brief strolling distance is the instruction given within the Theravada custom. Others choose to stroll for better distances. Deliver your consideration right down to your ft and slowly shift your weight backward and forward and entrance to again. Being in naked ft can carry extra consciousness to what must occur within the physique to create stability.
Coming into bodily stillness, carry the crown of your head up, slide your shoulders down and away out of your ears, and carry your chest with dignity and pleasure, as when you had been a king or a queen. You’ll be able to clasp your arms behind your again, maintain them in entrance of your physique, or let your arms hold loosely to the facet.
Lifting your proper leg, discover the load redistribution in your physique. Place your consideration on what the left facet of your physique must do to carry your full weight—spreading the toes, participating the core. Lengthen the correct leg ahead, putting the heel on the bottom and rolling onto the ball of the foot. As your weight shifts ahead, discover how the heel of your left foot begins to carry. Swing the left leg ahead and repeat.
Including verbal cues is a good way to determine synchronization and rhythm throughout the physique. Because the thoughts begins to wander, use a easy verbal cue like “lifting, shifting, putting” as a reminder to carry the thoughts again to the physique. Incorporating a gatha, a brief verse to help follow, is a standard method utilized in Thich Nhat Hanh’s communities. Right here’s one which is perhaps used for strolling meditation:
(Inhaling) “I’ve arrived”; (Respiratory out) “I’m residence.”
(Inhaling) “Within the right here”;
(Respiratory out) “Within the now.”
(Inhaling) “I’m strong”;
(Respiratory out) “I’m free.”
(Inhaling) “Within the final”; (Respiratory out) “I dwell.”
If you get to the tip of your brief strolling path, come to an entire cease and take a breath. Flip 1 / 4 of the way in which, possibly taking one other breath, then absolutely flip all the way in which round, dealing with the place you simply got here from. Begin over with discovering your posture and establishing your stability. Once more carry, transfer, and place the foot.
At first of this follow, you may discover that your steps are very calculated and robotic. See when you can start to seek out extra fluidity as you join the breath with motion, maybe letting go of the phrases and simply permitting this to be a completely embodied follow. Begin with a few ten-minute session, slowly constructing as much as 30–45 minutes.
When you might have come to the tip of your follow, stand nonetheless, seeing the place there’s power within the physique and what’s nonetheless. Discover what has risen to the highest and what has been let go of.