In the first post of the series on everyday Zen practices, I wrote about Zazen, or sitting meditation. I shared that there are 4 ways to meditate in Zen. The 4 ways to meditate that the Buddha called: “The 4 Nobilities of Man”. The 4 ways are: Standing. Sitting. Lying, and Walking. Today, I will share with you the simple practice of Zen Walking Meditation.
Zen Walking Meditation
- First, you start by becoming aware of where you are. You stand, look around, and pay attention to your breath. Notice five things that you see around you, and name them, using your inner voice.
- Then breath in and imagine that you fill the top of your chest with your breath.
- Breath deeper, and imagine that your breath goes deeper; all the way down to your belly. Keep breathing this way.
- Put your left hand on top of your right hand. Put both hands on your chest. Now we are going to walk.
- Take a step forward. Land your heel first. Slowly let your foot come down to the floor until your toes hit the floor.
- As soon as your toes hit the floor, lift your other foot by lifting your heel off the ground and step forward.
- Plant your heel first, move the foot slowly until the toes hit the ground.
- Lift the other foot, heel first, step forward. There you go.
- As you are slowly stepping as described above, breath in and out.
- Drop your breath into your stomach as your foot begins to lift from the ground.
- Breath out as your toes are touching the floor.
- Go slow, paying attention to your breathing, to the sensation of your foot coming off the floor, to the sensation of lowering of the toes to the ground, to the sensation of the other foot lifting from the floor.
- There is no hurry. There is nowhere to go. There is no time to get there. No right way to do it. No wrong way to do it. Just the focus. Just you, absorbed in the moment.
- Begin with 7 minutes and let yourself do it longer when you naturally feel drawn to do it.
Your mind will grow in its ability to be aware of the present. To be aware of your body in space. Aware of how you move. You will increase your balance. You will take a break from mental chatter. Take a break from worry. Take a break from anxiety. I wish you a good walk.