One thing to observe before we go to the walking meditation is:
The walking meditation is a very important part of the training and needs to be practiced!!!
Please do not change your posture, because the body wants to be relieved from some discomfort, and then continue doing the sitting meditation.
The meditator is learning a few things from this part of the practice and it has to do with learning to be mindful in one’s daily life as well as getting exercise for the body. When it’s time for the sitting to change position, after sitting for no less than 30 minutes, then do the walking meditation.
The meditator stays with the object of meditation, i.e. the breath and relaxing, or the Metta and relaxing and doesn’t change to focusing on the body movements.
Please don’t place mind’s attention on the feet while walking, or begin walking very slowly. If the mind’s attention is on the feet, the meditator is not very aware of what mind’s attention is doing.
Why? Because the meditator is not watching what mind’s attention is doing and they are trying to over-focus on just the movements of the feet.
The question that needs to be asked here is: “Is the meditator being truly mindful of HOW mind’s attention moves from one thing to another when over-focusing on only the movement of the feet?”
The meditator needs to walk at a regular pace just as they do when walking from one place to another in their normal life!
There are some real advantages to walking this way because the blood starts moving around better and one’s the body gets some exercise, so muscles can stretch out and let any stiffness go.
Walking in a normal to fast pace also energizes one’s body, so sloth or torpor won’t become as much of a problem.
When the meditator is doing walking meditation, they need to keep their eyes down, not be looking around.
Why? Because where the eyes go, so goes mind’s attention. Before too long, the mind is thinking this or that and is completely distracted and not aware of the object of meditation
The meditator stays on the breath and relaxing, or, Metta and relaxing, using the 6R’s whenever the mind’s attention gets distracted.
Instructions in Loving-138 Kindness Meditation At first, the mind’s attention will be somewhat active and lots of wandering, thoughts will invade it.
But, with calm patience in 6R-ing, those distractions will eventually, settle down and the meditator will be able to stay with their object of meditation.
Eventually, the walking meditation will become as good as the sitting meditation.
This way, when one is off of retreat they can bring their meditation into their daily activities more easily.
It is recommended that the student walk fast enough so that the heart beats a little more quickly and that they continue for at least 15 minutes.
When the meditation is good, they can walk for longer but not more than 45 minutes or the body can become tired.