Health & Wellness Articles

A Guide to Walking Meditation

Zen and the Art of Multitasking


Once you have learned how to meditate while walking, you can practice it anytime you have the opportunity to walk, whether it's a block of time you set aside to exercise or a short jaunt across the parking lot. When you get really good, you can even use it on densely populated walks with lots of potential distractions. Here are some tips that can help improve your experience:
  • Choose the method that best suits your opportunity, and if it isn't feeling right, try another method.
  • If you are practicing outdoors, stay away from high-traffic and heavily-populated walking areas. Opt instead for a park or a walking trail.
  • Give yourself about 20 minutes to practice for the first few times. If you feel it necessary, wear a watch with a timer, so your awareness isn't focusing on the time.
  • Practice safely. If you don't feel secure in your surroundings, you won't be able to focus inward.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • The two components of all meditation are relaxation and concentration; what differentiates one form from another is the object of concentration. I had severe ADD as a child (and young adult) and meditation did me worlds of good in making me able to control that (and I got other very good benefits from it too). I studied meditation as a martial artist, and did it simply by focusing my attention totally on my movement. Walking meditation is similar to that, but easier. You can also do driving meditation, housekeeping meditation, working meditation, and so on. The work ethic could be called the meditation of the western world (though not everyone who works does it): you just keep your mind focused on your task (or pay attention to what you're doing as they used to say). I got that idea after reading an article about a form of movement meditation practiced in China that imitated the movements of a worker in a silk factory. Self hypnosis is another very useful form of meditation I got a lot of good out of (but that's a different subject). - 9/3/2015 9:32:54 AM
    I like to walk, gives me time to worry at my own pace, and not hurry the thought process. - 9/3/2015 7:26:51 AM
  • I would like to try labyrinths walking, but there are none near me. When the weather cools down a little, I might try walking on the beach. But right now, it's just way, way, way too hot. - 7/28/2015 10:41:09 AM
  • I have done this before. It is good to start out this way because it gets you to listen to your body. I used it to learn how to properly jog without hurting my back or calves too much and use my whole leg in proper motion. Once that becomes "muscle memory" than you can enjoy your surroundings :) - 5/29/2015 6:08:32 PM
  • I think you left out one type of walking meditation, and that is to be one with nature. There's no need to isolate yourself from nature. It's good to feel a part of it. Notice the color of the grass, are there clouds in the sky? Listen to the birds calling to one another, is the traffic starting to sound a little like music? Are your feet moving faster because your fitter, or you are at one with nature? - 2/12/2015 12:10:04 PM
  • This is an excellent article.....thank you! Although I walk for exercise and appreciation of beauty in the summer and fall, this is a different kind of walking and one that I will incorporate into my weekly regimen.
    - 2/12/2015 8:34:21 AM
    I think I'd just rather take a walk on the beach while the sun is setting and take in the view around me and be aware of how I move and try to relax. This seems like a lot of conscious concentration and not much relaxation. - 2/7/2015 3:00:56 PM
  • I already do a walking meditation and LOVE it. :) - 2/6/2015 6:26:51 PM
  • I am going to have to agree with EABL81 on this one. I live in the mountain area of Montana and all I need to do it focus on the beauty around me and I am transformed. Not that I can't give this a try but I feel like I am in quite a "meditative" state around here. I did walk a labyrinth in Hawaii once that was quite suited to this. Good luck everyone! - 2/6/2015 9:48:54 AM
  • I went into a deep meditation while walking automatically once when I was preparing for a MS Walk - a - thon. The actual walk was almost 10 miles...I ended up walking 16 miles or better by the time I was realized and I was backpacking it at the time. Be sure to have your cell just in case. I had a cell phone ,but turned off until it was needed. I want to get to that point again. - 6/22/2014 9:33:33 PM
  • Awesome just what I needed....Now time to get new sneakers!! - 4/23/2014 10:24:18 AM
  • Great stuff here but to be honest here in NY this would never work outdoors because you would either end up getting mugged or run over.
    I do though, get the "focus" part and how this would help your mind to wander away from not so happy things. Hence, a calmer and less stressful state.
    Thanks for sharing! - 10/12/2013 10:13:43 PM
  • Meditation will change your life. - 10/12/2013 1:58:02 PM
  • I guess I'm not very Zen. I love walking and see it as a way of relaxing and recharging through connection with nature. My usual and favorite paths are in the woods, or along the river. I tried the first technique described here a while ago (admittedly only once), and found that 1) I was very bored after 10 minutes, which evoked feelings of frustration, and 2) felt as though I was missing out on the very thing I find so calming and relaxing, that is being in the moment with nature. Watching the swallows' aerial dance above the river, listening to the calls and songs of the birds in the trees above me, the chatter of the squirrels, the sound of the wind moving through the leaves, the subtle changes in the light as it passes through the trees. Sorry, but my feet can't begin to complete with all of that! :-) - 10/12/2013 10:38:52 AM
  • Labyrinths are perfect for walking meditation. Find one near you by visiting World-Wide Labyrinth Locator on the Labyrinth Society website. http://labyrinthl - 9/2/2013 8:54:10 AM

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