Walking is something we do without thinking about it. Most of us take it for granted our ability to walk. We usually get up in the morning, get out of our bed and we walk. It may be just around the house or to our car to drive somewhere but for some of us we go for a walk for sheer enjoyment and as a part of our daily exercise routine.
There are four body postures of meditation including standing, walking, sitting and
lying on the side Today we will concentrate on Walking and Lying Meditation.
Walking Meditation is often done concurrently with sitting meditation, for example, every 30 minutes interval, you can take a 5 minutes break to walk to stretch the legs and loosen your body.
Walking Meditation may be practiced indoors or outdoors.
Best time of the day – early morning before sun rise as the sky is beginning to get light or about an hour before the sun sets.
Pace – once you set your speed, try to maintain the same pace throughout your walk.
Movement – heel, toe, heel toe. For additional benefit of balancing, walk slowly so that your weight is on one foot then the other. Try to keep your head steady at a same plane as if you are gliding.
Eyes – keep them open, head lifted, eyes looking on the ground about 10 to 12 feet ahead of you.
If done in indoors, walk in a circle or pace back and forth
- Your body is relaxed, arms and hands relax by your side, hold your head up, elongate your spine and begin walking, heel toe, heel toe
- Pay attention to the sensation on the soles of your feet as it contact the ground
- Now pay attention to your surrounding with your eyes. Observe them closely and imagine how 3 years old would view them as if the child is seeing them for the first time in his or her young life.
- Now also pay attention to the sounds you hear. Do not come up with your opinions whether it is a pleasant sound or disturbing sound. Just listen without judgment or trying to figure out its source.
- Now also pay attention to the sensations on your skin, on the soles of your feet.
If it’s sunny, feel the heat from the sun. If it’s raining, feel the wetness on your skin. On windy day, just enjoy the wind’s energy.
- Now add smell to your observation. Do not come up with your opinions whether it is a pleasant or unpleasant smell. Just notice without judgment or trying to figure out its source.
- Remember to be fully aware of your body, and be mindful of your surroundings; empty your mind of thoughts and you will get a full benefit of the walking meditation.
Helps generate a lot of mental energy to help concentration.
Helps your body heal of physical injuries such as back, neck shoulder and knee.
Reduce anxiety and stress.
Lying on the side Meditation
You might have seen small carved statue or painting of the Buddha meditating on his side. This meditation pose is practiced by Buddhist monks and mentioned in Dao Yin training.
As in any meditation practice, set aside a quiet, designated place to practice. Turn off your cell phone and be sure that you allocate at least 20 minutes for each practice. Have mattress or cushion under the whole body.
- Lie on your right side with left arm resting on top of the body.
- Rest your right elbow on the floor with the hand supporting the head.
If the right hand begins to feel discomfort, slight shifting of position may help.
- May tuck a cushion under your right armpit or place it upper chest to relieve some of your body weight
- Both knees are bent slightly but the left knee is little more bent then the right to alleviate any pressure.
Caution: Do not over do. If you begin to feel pain, stop, stretch and resume your pose.
Not recommended if you have neck problems.
You will experience peace and tranquility.
Helps generate mental clarity, improves brain function.
Helps relieve stress and heal your body.
Don’t expect to master meditation techniques over night. Master Yogi and Meditation Guru Anmol Mehta teach us that it takes dedication and years of practice to master meditation. So don’t look for immediate results. Enjoy these simple but powerful meditation techniques and be healthy and live a joyful and compassionate life!
Namaste -- Cathi