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Walking meditation brings mindfulness to an everyday act

Meditation is a way of training our attention, so that we can be more aware our inner thoughts and emotions, and also of what’s happening around us in the here and now. This process teaches us to pay attention to our experiences and responses as they arise, and to observe them without judgment.

All forms of meditation encourage concentration, mindfulness and compassion. Concentration focuses our attention, so we can let go of distractions. It restores our energy. Mindfulness helps us connect fully with what life brings. It helps us observe feelings, thoughts, sights, smells and sounds. Finally, compassion opens our attention, and makes it more inclusive. 

As we say goodbye to a long cold and dark winter, let’s welcome a spring filled with warmer temperatures and more sunshine—which means more time outdoors. And with more time outdoors, how about introducing yourself to the act of walking meditation? This is a simple way to bring mindfulness to an act that we normally do without any thought or consideration. Here’s a step-by-step guide to walking meditation (no pun intended!)

  • Start by standing comfortably
  • Settle your attention into your feet
  • Feel the tops of your feet, your soles, each toe and then become aware of your foot making contact with your shoes, and the sensations of your foot making contact with the ground
  • Slowly shift your weight to one foot. Notice changes in your balance, and feel the way your muscles stretch, strain and relax again
  • Repeat this with your other foot, then come back to centre and stand comfortably for a moment
  • Begin to walk at a normal pace
  • Focus on the sensation of your feet and legs as you lift them, move them and place them on the ground
  • Make a simple note: lift, place
  • After some minutes, slow your walking down and divide the step into three parts: lift, move and place
  • Finish one step completely before you lift the other foot
  • Experiment with pace until you find the speed that best allows you to keep your attention on the feeling of walking—this is the speed that allows you to remain most mindful
  • After 15 minutes of walking, simply stop and stand
  • Notice what you feel at the point where your feet meet the ground and take in what you see and hear, and then gently end the meditation


Farah Sheikh is a registered social worker, psychotherapist providing Individual and family therapy at our clinic. Your Therapy is a safe, welcoming, counselling therapy practice in the Greater Toronto Area. Thanks for reading and, as always, please feel free to reach out with questions about talk therapy or other mental health issues. We offer mental healthy therapy and more.

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