R A Manard
As with sitting meditation there are so many types, subtypes, and combination types, and sequential planned types that may be used but walking meditation has several unique benefits also. Walking meditation provides physical exercise and allows for many productive results that are connected to this. A person that does no physical exercise will fall to ruin so take care of yourself and at least walk every day.
Beware because walking in meditative states can blind you to what is going on around you. The idea is that the surface human mind will take care of moving the feet and avoiding whatever may be in our way but mistakes happen. When all of you is working together it’s easy to negotiate rocks, puddles, and even cars and traffic. When it’s the unattended brain the ability to avoid danger is decreased in a significant degree.
When I was fifteen I had mastered walking meditation. I was living like a monk without knowing it and I was walking long distances to see my spiritual mentor and my girlfriend. I didn’t start out trying to meditate it happened on accident that I had gone deep into a mind silence while on a walk that I knew well. I noticed that I was walking again and had no idea where I was. It turned out I had not just spaced out for a second or a block or two. I had walked ten miles or so. I had gone through residential and city areas and I had no memory of it.
I had been practicing watching thoughts from detachment and this walking seemed the next natural evolution of the practice. I was afraid at first but if I had not waited for lights or avoided cars I would have been run over for sure. How had I done these complex tasks without giving any attention of mind to them? I started to realize that I was not one person but two. One of me was deep mind rooted in the non physical with vision of things far away and even the future being constructed. The other one was terrestrial and brain based. It was able to perform fantastic feats but was mostly bogged down with fear, anxiety, suffering, wishful thinking, sensual needs, and many desires. Soon I would give the directions to my surface mind and zone right out each time I walked. I gave the directions and instruction to snap out of it when the destination was seen. I gave an image of what it looked like.
Working with surface and deep mind you learn to give yourself directives to follow them without any need of thinking about them at all.
How did I decide there is a danger? I woke from the deep mind state I was hearing a loud car horn very close. The world was moving slowly and I saw a car coming right for me and the light was red. I had walked not only in front of a car but into full blown traffic! I had to jerk my head back and then contort myself like I was trying to jump forwad head first in order to miss being hit by the swerving car. It brushed my clothes and between the rush of air and standing on my tippy toes in such a weird position I nearly fell down. Then I realized I was very very afraid.
Funny how the mind works. I convinced myself that I should start doing it again but only short distances. I told myself that it was a one time only thing because I had logged many hours of walking without issues that I was aware of. It was only about two weeks and I very nearly walked in front of a car that was running the streetlight. I had not even looked to see if a car was coming and I decided I had dodged a bullet twice and my luck was going to run out. This is how I figured out how to do it in a safe manner.
I did walking meditation only in places where there were no intersections of cars to cross and no danger that should require attention. I found bike trails and railroad tracks worked pretty good too if I stayed way off to the side. I tried one block sessions and did some of those but I found that I needed more time to really get anything accomplished while in deep mind. It was stressful to meditate one block at a time because of the way time seemed to pass for me. It seemed like nothing but waking up, crossing the street, trying to reach deep mind state, and then the instant I reached it , it was wake up time again from my perspective.
I fine tuned how deep I would go and did at long last become able to retain the memory of what I did while in meditation states. Even though I believed I had mastered it, I could never again convince myself to risk my life like I had done back when I zoned out and walked for miles through intersections. Please learn from my experience and don’t gamble. Value yourself, love yourself enough to make sure you don’t gamble with your life. If you do walking meditation, do so only in a safe place and plan to only go to a safe place and stop to sit and do nothing. You could also try to tell yourself the behavior to follow to reach a destination and return before stopping, all in safe areas.
Working with surface and deep mind you learn to give yourself directives to follow them without any need of thinking about them at all. The mind works in parts like the closest friendship these parts we use to express ourselves as beings. Do not draw a line between self and other without understanding. That seems pointless at best.
Maybe you will be able to go very deep and have no memory of the walk, maybe you only remember a halfway point, or maybe you learn to keep only a particular depth of mind. In any event be safe. You could try many types of meditation while doing walking meditation. You could program a whole long sequence of types and goals and see what you can do without being “awake”.
~ Mitra Vah, Monks of The Way – Phoenix 2017 V1.2