Adapted from Walking Meditation, by Nguyen Anh-Huong and Thich Nhat Hanh (Sounds True, 2006).
Walking meditation is meditation while walking. We walk slowly, in a relaxed way, keeping a light smile on our lips. When we practice this way, we feel deeply at ease, and our steps are those of the most secure person on Earth. All our sorrows and anxieties drop away, and peace and joy fill our hearts. Anyone can do it. It takes only a little time, a little mindfulness, and the wish to be happy.
–Thich Nhat Hanh
Here are two ways to practice walking meditation, by Thich Nhat Hanh:
We can practice walking meditation by counting steps or by using words. If the rhythm of our breathing is three steps for each in-breath and out-breath (3-3), for example, we can say, silently, “Lotus flower blooms. Lotus flower blooms,” or “The green planet. The green planet,” as we walk. If our breathing is two steps for each in-breath, and three steps for each out breath(2-3), we might say, “Lotus flower. Lotus flower blooms.” Or “Walking on the green planet. Walking on the green planet,” for 5-6.
We don’t just say the words. We really see flowers blooming under our feet. We really become one with our green planet. Feel free to use your own creativity and wisdom. Walking meditation is not hard labor. It is for your enjoyment.
–Thich Nhat Hanh
When you begin to practice walking meditation, you might feel unbalanced, like a baby learning to walk. Follow your breathing, dwell mindfully on your steps, and soon you will find your balance. Visualize a tiger walking slowly, and you will find that your steps become as majestic as the steps of a tiger.
– Thich Nhat Hanh