How to do walking meditation

Walking meditation is a great way to step out when feeling overwhelmed or unfocused at work. I learned this practice while at a meditation retreat at a Buddhist temple. The monks do walking meditation in the morning and after lunch to help with digestion.

Here's a quick guide on how to do it.

First, start standing still. Say “standing” three times. Then repeat “I want to walk” three times.

As you make the first step with your right foot, say “right go through,” then as you make the second step, say “left go through.”

As you go through the steps, the balance is on the standing leg. The standing leg controls the landing of the stepping leg.

The pronunciation of “through” should be synced with the landing of each step. “Left go...” as you lightly land the left foot in the floor, say “...through.”

The walking meditation happens in a straight line going back and forth. When you’re ready to turn around, after the last step, stand still again and say “standing” three times.

Then say “I want to go back” three times. After that, lift and pivot your right foot to the right, as you say “going back.” Then lift your left foot and land it next to your right foot as you say “going back” for the second time. Now, lift and pivot your right leg to the right as you say “going back” for the last time. Then lift your left foot again and land it next to your right foot.

Now that you’ve turned around start again by saying “standing” three times. Then say ”I want to go back” three times, and start walking as you say “right go through, ” “left go through.”

Do it out loud for a couple of rounds to help with concentration, then silently.