Regulating the Body by Walking

Regulating the body by walking consists of slow walking and fast walking. Walking meditation is especially useful for a change of pace when engaged in prolonged sitting, such as on personal or group retreats. Periods of walking can be taken between sittings.

In slow walking, the upper body should be in the same posture as in sitting, the difference being in the position of the hands. The left palm should lightly enclose the right hand, which is a loosely formed fist. The hands should be held in front of, but not touching, the abdomen. The forearms should be parallel to the ground. The attention should be on bottom of the feet as you walk very slowly, the steps being short, about the length of one's foot. If walking in an enclosed space, walk in a clockwise direction.

Fast walking is done by walking rapidly without actually running. The main difference in posture from slow walking is that the arms are now dropped to the sides, swinging forwards and backwards, as in natural walking. Take short fast steps, keeping the attention on the feet.

Supplementary Exercise

Sitting and walking are the two basic methods of regulating your body. There is a supplementary aspect which is to exercise for a short period after sitting, even if you only do one sitting per day. The form of exercise is a matter of individual choice, but it should be moderate, such as T'ai Chi 太極 or Yoga.

Regulating the Breath

Regulating the breath is very simple. It's just your natural breathing. Do not try to control your breathing. The breath is used as a way to focus, to concentrate the mind. In other words, we bring the two things ─ regulating the breathing and regulating the mind ─ together.


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