Walking Meditation: Meditation in Motion
This type of meditation is often thought of as the counterpart to Zazen Mediation or "sitting meditation". For those who have difficulties, or get "antsy", sitting in one spot, this is a great alternative. However, it can sometimes also prove to be more difficult simply because you must stay alert enough to pay attention to where you're going so that you don't accidentally wonder into the path of a stray lion... for example :)
This type of meditation is really a great exercise for stress relief because in addition to the relaxing benefits of meditation, you'll also be getting all the benefits of exercise. Even a small amount of physical activity, such as taking a walk, can bring big benefits to your mental and physical health and wellbeing.
It's also an excellent "meditation for beginners". Sometimes sitting still and concentrating can be quite difficult, especially in the beginning. So Walking Meditation is a great way to begin meditating and can help you ease in to more difficult meditative practices.
To perform this type of mediation, be sure to start with a planned course. Knowing where you will go in advance of starting will help you to stay concentrated on the meditation instead of thinking about where you'll go next. And don't rule out inside areas. If the weather is bad or if you feel safer inside, feel free to walk around an inside track, around the mall, or even around your living room. Just know where you're going before you start.
When you begin, focus on your breath and take slow and focused steps. As you continue to walk, continue to focus on your breath until you feel completely present and "in the moment". Then begin to notice other things about your body, how you're legs move, how your arms move, etc. The key is to simply notice these things without attempting to change them or over-think them. Stay in the moment and simply take notice.
As you become more focused and relaxed, begin to take in and notice your surroundings. Try not to let the things you notice take your thoughts off into another place. Again, the key is to stay present and in the moment while simply taking notice of your breathing, your movements, and your surroundings.
Walking Meditation can also be done in combination with sitting meditation. You may choose to begin your session sitting and end it walking, or vice versa. You don't have to do this for very long to reap the benefits. In the beginning, starting with a quick five minute session is all that is necessary.
For additional information, check out this book/dvd/cd on Walking Meditation from Sounds True.