Walking Meditation 

By U Silananda 


Having meditated for about thirty minutes or more, you may practice walking meditation. When you practice Vipassana meditation, it is important to keep mindfulness with you always. So, when you change from sitting to standing, keep mindfulness with you. Before standing up, therefore, be mindful of the intention to stand up or to get up. You may say to yourself "intention, intention, intention," or "desire, desire, desire." Then get up slowly, keeping your mind on the whole of your body, or saying to yourself, "getting up, getting up, getting up." And when you are standing, be mindful of the standing position, or say to yourself, "standing, standing, standing." 


When you walk, it is better to choose a walking path and stay on it. Walk on it back and forth. When you walk, you walk slowly, keeping you mind on the foot or rather the movements of the foot, being aware of at least four stages of each step. And keep your eyes down always. 


In order to make a step, you first raise your foot. Keep your mind on the foot and be mindful of the raising or lifting, saying, "lifting." Then you push your foot forward, or you move your foot forward. Be mindful of that moving, saying to yourself, "moving." When you put your foot down on the floor, be mindful of the putting down, or just say, "putting." Then you shift weight to make the other step. Keep your mind on the whole body and say, "shifting." Then make the next step, being mindful of lifting, moving, putting down, and shifting, making movements slowly. Keep your eyes open and look at the floor about three or four feet in front of you. Do not close your eyes. You may fall if you close your eyes. Keep them a little open and look at the floor, or look down. 


When you reach the end of the walking space, you stop and be mindful of stopping, or say to yourself, "stopping, stopping, stopping." When you want to turn around, be mindful of the desire or intention to turn around, or say to yourself, "intention, intention, intention," or "desire, desire, desire," and then you turn slowly. Be mindful of the turning movement, or say to yourself, "turning, turning, turning." Then walk again, taking note of the different stages in each step, lifting, moving, putting down, shifting, and so on, until you reach the other end of the walking space. Stop there and be mindful of stopping. When you turn around, be mindful of turning around and then walk again. Also, when you walk, you may keep your hands in front or in the back or on the sides. So, you walk back and forth until the end of the walking period.