Walking meditation is a tricky bit. Often the stillness of sitting seems to be the clear darling of the meditation student. You hear all kinds of anecdotes about students opting for sitting over walking on retreats. Walking just doesn’t seem as noble as sitting. The connection between meditation and walking doesn’t seem as intuitive to some. Sitting in posture is noble on it’s face. It seems the clear way to progress. Yet I’ve had many experiences while mindfully walking. The sole of the foot is a great gateway into the present. Body sensation, is, after all the root of zazen while watching the breath. The feet are amazing tools to bring awareness to sensation while walking. Walk slowly. Point the mind deeply into the sensations of walking. Watch closely, without allowing any stories or thoughts except the mindful awareness of each step. Bring the mind to each footstep and the sensations that make it up. It is a river, not a list, though naming the sensations as they go by can help bring us into the stream. Stepping, moving, touching, placing, shifting, lifting, raising, moving, touching, placing, shifting. Heal sensation, foot is flat and balancing, heal is lifting, weight moving towards the toes, as the other heal is touching, weighting, back foot lifting, moving…
Like pain, walking provides a place to focus the mind, bring attention to the present, trains our selves to stay with what is, with moment to moment awareness we are once again finding the present.
Sitting, walking meditation, sitting again. Retreats give one the chance to really string practice together. Like a stream. What an amazing opportunity. What a wonderful blessing it is simply coming to rest in everyday awareness as it simply unfolds moment to moment.
Concentration is coming. Keep practicing.