Mindful walking, also known as walking meditation is where you are consciously aware of your movements and your surroundings. You observe how it feels as each foot meets the ground, the noises you can hear and the things that you can see.

 

It can be very easy to walk from A to B and not really hear or see what is going on and when we think back to that walk it can seem like a blur.

 

Thich Nhat Hanh On Walking Meditation

 

Wherever we walk, we can practice meditation. This means that we know that we are walking. We walk with freedom and solidity, no longer in a hurry. We are present with each step. And when we wish to talk we stop our movement and give our full attention to the other person, to our words and to listening.

 

Walking in this way should not be a privilege. We should be able to do it in every moment. Look around and see how vast life is, the trees, the white clouds, the limitless sky. Listen to the birds. Feel the fresh breeze.

 

Life is all around and we are alive and healthy and capable of walking in peace.

Let us walk as a free person and feel our steps get lighter. Let us enjoy every step we make. Each step is nourishing and healing. As we walk, imprint our gratitude and our love on the earth.

Thich Nhat Hanh practising walking meditation with the monks and nuns of plum village

Thich Nhat Hanh practising walking meditation with the monks and nuns of Plum Village

  

Implementing it into everyday life

 

  • Listen

Bring your attention to sounds – what can you hear? The sound of cars? People talking?

Beware to not get too caught up in thinking about where the sound is coming from. Just take a moment to be aware of the sound itself.

 

  • Observe

Without trying to change the way you’re walking simply observe how it feels. Take a moment to notice how it feels as each foot touches the ground.

 

  • Notice

Notice what you see going on around you. From other people walking past to the trees at the side of the road. Notice the colours and shapes, movement and stillness.

 

  • Comeback

Use the rhythm of your walking as a base, a place where you can come back to if your mind wanders.

 

Thich Nhat Hanh 'peace is every step'Calligraphy

Thich Nhat Hanh Calligraphy

 

Mindful Walking Poem

 

Whilst walking you can say this short poem in your head, taking a step as you say each line.

The mind can go in a thousand directions

But on this path I go in peace

With each step a gentle wind blows

With each step a flower blooms

 

Walking meditation in Plum Village

Walking meditation in Plum Village

Resources 

Below are some videos on mindful walking and it’s use in everyday life as well a useful pocketbook.

 

Dene’s Video on implementation

Here is a video of mindfulness practitioner Dene explaining how he benefited from implementing mindful walking in his job.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln2wXmmBs_Y  

 

The miracle of walking on earth video

This short video sees Thay talking walking meditation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=151&v=uppd0oJuDLI

 

How to walk

Explores the essential foundations of mindful meditation and practise. Focussing on mindful walking, Thay explains how this technique can diminish depression, recapture wonder and help us to express sincere gratitude.

how to sit book by Which That Hanh