Those who want to practice mindfulness need not search around the opportunity for the same because any activity in which they involve can be considered as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. All the domestic tasks that we perform such as cleaning the house, washing the clothes, grocery purchase or gardening can be made the best opportunity for our spiritual practice. We go for walking everyday as a physical exercise to our body. We all know that walking provides a lot of benefits. However, few people know that walking is one among the best ways to practice mindfulness. The great advantage of mindful walking is that when the body is in movement it is easier to sense. When we sit and meditate most of us find it difficult to become aware of physical sensations. When we walk the sensations are more obvious to us. Walking has great power to pull our attention. We get a lot of rich experiences when we walk and walking itself is a fulfilling experience.
The practice of walking meditation is common among various traditions. During walking meditation we walk at a very slow pace. We take a few minutes to cover a very few steps. When we walk normally, we will not take that much time to cover the same distance. In fact any walking activity can be made mindful walking. While we are on a small walk inside the park or when we walk to the market or to the train station or to the workplace the physical sensations that occur during the walk must be mindfully focused. This can be practiced whenever we walk in our day-to-day life. When we apply a momentary pause before we start to walk we feel that our body is pressing its weight on the earth. In order to maintain your mindfulness when you walk you should avoid looking around too much and also stop tracking movement of other people on the road. Ensure that your eyes look straight ahead and can be slightly downwards also. Even if your steps are slower than usual you ensure that you are walking naturally. When you walk at the normal pace your attention is more likely to get distracted. There will be less distraction when you walk slower than usual. Whenever you practice mindful walking it is very important to observe the sensations in your body. You can start observing the pattern in which your feet enter into contact with the earth and break the contact. It is simple and easy to take note of this sensation. These sensations which are rhythmic become your anchor and the moment you feel that you are distracted these sensations bring your attention back.
A single process
Gradually you will be able to become aware of your whole body. You will start experiencing the tightening as well as release of your muscles, the sensations in your thighs, hips and the pelvis. You also start to feel the vibration of the feet when they touch the ground and the vibration will spread through your flesh and bones. You will also start to feel movement of your breathing, movement of your shoulders, arms, your head and so on. When we walk into mindfulness we feel that the walking as a whole is a fascinating dance step by step.