Friday, March 23, 2012

Walking Meditation

"Walking meditation means to enjoy walking without any intention to arrive. We don't need to arrive anywhere.  We just walk. We enjoy walking. That means walking is already stopping, and that needs some training.  Usually in our daily life we walk because we want to go somewhere. Walking is only a means to an end, and that is why we do not enjoy every step we take. Walking meditation is different. Walking is only for walking. You enjoy every step you take. So this is a kind of revolution in walking. You allow yourself to enjoy every step you take.
The Zen master Ling Chi said that the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth. You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet. That is already performing a miracle. The greatest of all miracles is to be alive. We have to awaken ourselves to the truth that we are here, alive. We are here making steps on this beautiful planet. This is already performing a miracle.  But we have to be here in order for the miracle to be possible. We have to bring ourselves back to the here and the now."
-  Thich Nhat Hanh, Resting in the River

Walking Meditation:  Quotes, Bibliography, Links, Information, Methods

"Walking meditation is walking in full awareness of breath, body and everything the senses present.  It is not an aerobic exercise - though it would be a fine lead-in to aerobic walking.  Rather, walking meditation is done slowly and consciously, with each step fully feeling the earth.  During this precious time, body and mind come together, joined in the present moment.  Although the benefits of walking meditation will deepen over time, even from the start, you can experience some measure of the relaxation, balance and quiet energy that builds through this practice."
-  Ginny Whitelaw, Body Learning, p. 55.   

"Research conducted at Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Medical Institute has found that focused walking meditations are highly effective for reducing anxiety and producing  what’s called the “relaxation response.”
Borgess Health   

The Ways of Walking 




  1. My most amazing Tai Chi experience - low ward off / brush knee walking.

    Walking is the one movement that humans/animals do that plants can not but then plants root better than we do!

    & as my children say: 'Why do the birds fly south for the Winter? Because it is too far to walk' :)

  2. I also enjoy doing some Tai Chi movements 20 times moving forward then reversing direction and doing the form 20 more times (e.g., Fair Lady Works Shuttles, Brush Knee, etc). This is done in Hsing I practice. I also vary the pace from moderate to faster.

    I walked 4 miles this morning at a moderate pace, and listened to an inspiring lecture on relating spiritually to Mother Earth.

  3. Perhaps walking IS something modern humans have forgotten how to do in this instant/take-away context we find ourselves in. Of course then there's the quote about voyaging that goes "a human soul can only travel as fast as a Camel can trot" (Greyling, A.C., 2006, The Form of Things).

    I've only just managed the 1st-half-of-the-Short-Form to the Left, reversing "Fair Lady" might overlaod my neural networks :)

    ... Moderate - that's one of the 3 Treasures of Taoism. As I begin to internalise TaiChi & Tao, the more I begin to appreciate & respect Moderate.

    Thank you for your insights.

    1. When you do the Traditional Yang Style Taijiquan 108 Form you do, in Section 3, Fair Lady Works Her Shuttles to four directions or sides.
      When you do the Standard 24 Form Taijiquan you only do Fair Lady to two sides. You can easily do more repetitions of these two movements in a straight walking line, then turn around and walk back in the opposite direction doing Fair Lady to the other side. I hope I'm not being too confusing.

      I like to walk outdoors, and I walk at a pace of about .6 mile in 12-14 minutes. At this pace I can listen to a lecture on my MP3 Walkman, or think/contemplate/talk to myself.

      Moderation is good for lots of activities; but sometimes we need to push ourselves a bit more agressively.

      - Mike

    2. Ah-ha moment, thanku Mike. Regards, Jennie.

  4. I step with the left foot to the left diagonal and do Fair Lady. Then I step forward with the right foot even with the left foot. Then I step with the right foot to the right diagonal and do Fair Lady. I repeat this pattern, kind of zig zagging as I move forward. The pattern can be done slowly or quickly, gently or forcefully. I also do this with Wild Horse Shakes His Mane, Golden Rooster, Ward Off, Toe Kicks. Reminds me of Hsing I drills. Great aerobic exercise.

    1. I tried this :) ... The pattern & flow is subtly different to the other Tai Chi walks I've done but the 'hidden hand' block & 'fair lady' extend adds a wonderful sense of yin/yang balance I've not perceived before.

      But I digress from your original topic of 'Walking Meditation' Mike. Hope you njoy your walk today, Jennie.

  5. The rhythm of walking has a profound effect on my consciousness. It is a shamanistic practice for me.
    I also do martial drills using Brush Knee with same Hsing I style of walking.