Not everyone is comfortable sitting for long periods of time while meditating. A wonderful substitute can be walking meditation. Walking meditation is practiced throughout the world. This technique has long been used in monasteries and is quite popular at meditation centers.
Walking the labyrinth is an ancient tradition that began in the Catholic Church. Parishioners walk through the labyrinth using prayer in their meditation. Walking meditation is also used in Buddhism and some people believe that Buddha was the first to teach this type of meditation.
What To Wear When Meditating
As with any type of meditation, if possible, it’s best to wear comfortable clothing while meditating. With walking meditation, if walking indoors, try walking barefoot or in socks. If walking outside, it’s best to wear comfortable shoes or sandals.
How To Walk and Meditate
Begin by closing your eyes and taking a few deep, cleansing breaths. Envision a warm, bright light coming down and surrounding the entire body. Feel the peacefulness of this light. The purpose of this is to try to achieve a calm, relaxed state. The more relaxed a person is, the easier it is to meditate.
Now, reopen the eyes and focus them on the ground a few feet ahead of where you are standing. Start by taking slow steps. Think of it as taking a lovely stroll in the park. Walking slowly may seem a little strange at first as people are used to walking quickly because of the fast pace of life. However, with practice, it will come much more naturally.
With each step, try to feel the sensation of where the feet are stepping in your toes, feet, and ankles. Minds can sometimes wander during meditation. Should this happen, merely bring the focus back to each step being taken.
Breathing While Walking And Meditating
A big key to walking meditation is to coordinate the breathing with the walking. This can prove to be quite a challenge for beginners. Try to take 2 to 3 steps with each inhalation and 2 to 3 steps for each exhalation. If this proves to be too difficult, begin by focusing on either the walking or the breathing, then gradually work up to doing both at the same time.
Keep in mind that the purpose of walking meditation is not to get to any place in particular, although some people will practice it to go from one location to another. While some people use walking meditation as a substitute to sitting meditation, others like to rotate between sitting and walking.
After a hard day of work or taking care of the kids, many people feel completely stressed out. Even though evening should be a more relaxing time of the day, a lot of people are just too tense to enjoy the relaxation time to its fullest. An evening meditation can help relieve some of that stress and allow a person to relax more fully.
How To Begin An Evening Meditation
First, make sure you are wearing loose fitting, comfortable clothing. If dinner has already been eaten, allow a little time to go by before meditating. You don’t want to meditate on a full stomach. Next, find a quiet place to go where you can be alone and avoid disturbance.
Consider putting on some meditation music quietly in the background. In addition, burning some incense or lighting a candle can help create more of a meditation atmosphere. This is your special time of the day and you should feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible before beginning the meditation.
Getting Rid of Stress With Meditation
Sit down, with the back upright, begin to take some slow deep breaths, then close your eyes. Think of a word that describes how you feel. Are you tense, nervous, or sad? Take whatever word best describes how you feel and imagine seeing it in your mind.
Think about how bad that word makes you feel and decide to let go of any negative emotions associated with the word. Imagine taking a big eraser and slowly erasing the word from your mind. As the word goes away, imagine that those negative emotions are disappearing as well.
As the negative energy leaves your body, you begin to feel lighter. Imagine continuing to feel so light that you lift up in the air. Envision yourself floating out the window and up into a beautiful cloud filled sky. Imagine all the big, fluffy clouds surrounding you while you relax atop the biggest one of all. Know that all of the stress of the day has been left behind.
Think about what the cloud feels like and smells like. If you pray, now is a great time to give a word of thanks to a higher power. Ask your higher power to please allow you to continue to feel good for the rest of the day. Stay in the clouds as long as desired. When ready to end the meditation, open your eyes, but, take a couple of minutes to relax before finishing up your day.
An evening meditation is an opportunity to get rid of any negative feelings in the body and give you the chance for some quiet, relaxing time at the end of the day. If time permits, consider taking a soothing bubble bath when the meditation is over. Even if this can’t be done daily, try to at least get one in once a week. The more relaxed a person is before going to bed, the better the night’s sleep will be.