Meditation What is walking meditation? By Norman B. Harrison Last updated Mar 9, 2022 Share Thich Nhat Hanh leads a meditative walk in Paris. Godong Group/Universal Images via Getty Images For Thich Nhat Hanhthe late Vietnamese monk who popularized mindfulness in the West, walking was not simply a way to get from place to place, or an activity to be reserved for a perfect forest path. It could be a deep contemplative practice bringing people into contact with their breath, their body, the Earth – and an awareness of what he called “interbeing”. Thich Nhat Hanh, who was one of the most influential Buddhist leaders in the world when he died on January 22created the term to describe “our deep interconnectedness with everything else”. “It all depends on everything else in the cosmos to manifest – whether it’s a star, a cloud, a flower, a tree, or you and me,” he explained. As scholar of contemporary BuddhismI studied how the monk’s teachings combine personal practices like mindfulness with social change – a movement called “engaged Buddhism”, that Thich Nhat Hanh developed through his peaceful activism against Vietnam War. But one of his most beloved teachings is walking meditation, a key part of every visit to 11 Plum Village Monasteries which he founded worldwide. Thich Nhat Hanh believed that the Earth is sacred, so wherever someone walks, they can be reminded of this spiritual connection while unite one’s mind to one’s body. He taught that people’s true homes are in the present moment, through awareness of their footsteps on Earth, their bodies and their minds. Walking meditation brings practitioners back to this solid foundation. Here are the steps of walking meditation as practiced in the Plum Village tradition: 1) Take a moment to breathe and center your body in the space you are about to walk through. At practice centers in Plum Village, monks and nuns lead participants in chanting a few mindfulness songs before starting. In “We all move“, for example, the group sings: “We all go on a journey to nowhere, taking things slowly, slowing them down. No more worries, no more rushing, nothing to take away, let it all go. The story continues 2) As you walk, pay attention to your breathing and your steps. Walk in a slow, relaxed manner, preferably with a slight smile. Think of the miracle of being alive and being able to walk on Mother Earth, repeating these sentences“As I breathe in, I know that Mother Earth is within me. As I breathe out, I know that I am in Mother Earth. [Over 140,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletters to understand the world. Sign up today.] 3) Take one breath per step, focusing on your foot touching the Earth. You may also notice how many steps you take as you inhale and then exhale, naturally. The goal is to find a connection between your breathing and your steps. Instead of sitting meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh practices focus on adding mindfulness to daily life anytime, anywhere. By incorporating walking meditation into a daily or weekly schedule, each step can become part of a deeper practice of interbeing. This article is republished from The conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Brooke Schedneck, Rhodes College. Read more: Brooke Schedneck does not work for, consult, own stock, or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond her academic appointment. Related posts: Exploring the potential impact of a virtual body meditation exercise conducted with companion dogs on recipients and facilitators Interview: How YouTube meditation videos helped Hong Kong’s Edgar Cheung become Olympic fencing champion The ancient practice of meditation is making waves in modern China Why meditation is crucial to my joy and resilience as an Asian American Share FacebookTwitterGoogle+ReddItWhatsAppPinterestEmail Norman B. Harrison Prev Post Are you hesitant about traditional Chinese medicine? Here are some easy tricks to get your feet wet Next Post Online Event: Destiny Reclamation Meditation You might also like More from author Meditation Meditation app Calm has launched a contest to find TikTok’s ‘sweetest… Meditation You might want to rethink this new meditation app | Robinson+Cole Data Privacy +… Meditation Mindfulness Meditation Apps Market to Surpass Valuation of US$4,206.12 Million with… Meditation What Readers Taught Us About Meditation Prev Next Comments are closed.