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Meditation Part 4: Walking Meditation and Kinhin

Meditation Part 4: Walking Meditation and Kinhin

We’ve briefly covered this one, but it is essentially what it sounds like: meditating while walking. You can do this while walking, running, or just pacing around the room in a circle. You focus your mind on how your body moves during the activity. This is not sightseeing, so your focus should be internal. How do your arms swing, how do your legs move, what about the muscles in your stomach and back? How does the activity affect your breathing?

As with the other forms, once your mind begins to wander, carefully, bring it back to focus on the action and sensations involved with moving.

I personally find this one very difficult, as I tend to pay too much attention to the world around me. Unlike the other forms of meditation, this might be a good time to listen to soft music on your iPod, since it will help cover up the outside noises.

In Zen, practitioners have ritualized this walking meditation into something called “Kinhin.”Kinhin is a very slow walk, going clockwise around the room. One hand is closed in a fist, while the other hand covers the fist. One step is taken for each full breath, so the circle moves very slowly. It is quite common to do kinhin between long periods of sitting meditations.

I have posted several pictures and a video of Kinhin on the site, but be aware that kinhin is only one form of walking meditation; a faster, outdoor walk can be good for you too.

Youtube Video:

2 comments to Meditation Part 4: Walking Meditation and Kinhin

  • OK, yes, the video’s a joke, but it’s the best I could find. The only other videos about Kinhin didn’t even show the guy’s feet. The idea that they take tiny little steps very slowly as in the video is accurate. Just don’t walk into any doors!

  • […] even take it one step further by seeing cleaning as an opportunity to multi-task. As in one form of Zen meditation, which encourages you to be active rather than stationary while you meditate, you can clean and […]