walking meditation

In the four foundations of mindfulness, the Buddha offers four postures for practicing meditation:

A monk knows, when he is walking,
“I am walking”;

he knows, when he is standing,
“I am standing”;

he knows, when he is sitting,
“I am sitting”;

he knows, when he is lying down,
“I am lying down”;

or just as his body is disposed
so he knows it.

Walking meditation is often described as a meditation in motion.

Adding verbal cues is a great way to establish synchronization and rhythm within the body. As the mind begins to wander, use a simple verbal cue like “lifting, moving, placing” as a reminder to bring the mind back to the body. Incorporating a gatha, a short verse to support practice, is a common technique used in Thich Nhat Hanh’s communities. Here’s one that might be used for walking meditation:

(Breathing in) “I have arrived”; (Breathing out) “I am home.”

(Breathing in) “In the here”;
(Breathing out) “In the now.”

(Breathing in) “I am solid”;
(Breathing out) “I am free.”

(Breathing in) “In the ultimate”; (Breathing out) “I dwell.”

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