The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

30-Day Mindfulness Challenge – Walking Meditation

January 27, 2022 / by John Engel, MA

Week 3 of the 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge started Wednesday, January 26. During the (optional) weekly Challenge Zoom session we engaged in a walking meditation practice. This post includes a brief summary of the event and resources to sustain your personal practice.

Summary

Walking meditation incorporates movement with mindfulness, strengthening focus and present-moment awareness. It can be practiced just about anywhere that feels safe. Walking meditation is a formal mindfulness practice and also serves as a bridge to mindful movement in day-to-day life. Walking meditation can be done indoors or outdoors, in a space as small as a yoga mat or in a larger space where you can walk in a circle. Generally, walking meditation is started at a slow pace, to build the capacity to be mindful while walking at any pace – or even while running. Walking meditation is an alternative to sitting meditation and might be supportive when you're feeling a bit antsy or fidgety – though remember to practice mindfulness while you're within the window of tolerance and not when emotionally dysregulated (hyper- or hypo-aroused).

The practice invites participants to actively engage in present-moment awareness by focusing on the sensations of the feet or other parts of the body during walking movement. As with other mindfulness practices, we notice during walking meditation when the mind wanders, and then we gently redirect attention to an anchor point (such as the sensation of the feet in contact with the ground).

Consider experimenting with walking meditation - alone or with others, indoors or outdoors, or perhaps in the privacy of a workplace office or conference room – and consider it as an additional option for formal mindfulness practice. 

Challenge Tips

Consider the following steps as a way to sustain your successful Challenge experience:

  • Recommit to your Challenge intention
  • Experiment with Walking Meditation using this 10-minute script (a version of the meditation used in our community session)
  • Consider the prompts found in the Challenge Tracking Calendar
  • Record daily minutes of practice in your calendar 

Micro Practice (3-5 minutes or so)

Journal Writing: The invitation is to write without thinking about structure, or about anyone reading it. This can help reveal feelings and bring more clarity to what you might be experiencing. It can be used after a meditation practice or separately. Possible prompts:

  • What was that meditation practice like for you? What did you notice?
  • When you practice, what do you notice in your body? Thoughts? Feelings? . . .
  • What has been the impact of practicing in your workplace?

Tags: Mindfulness

John Engel, MA

Written by John Engel, MA

John Engel, Program Coordinator at the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers, where he serves as a trainer and consultant for agencies adopting whole-system change to trauma-informed care. John also facilitates strategic change initiatives and product development for TSI, including development and launch of the Online ARTIC Scale. John also leads mindfulness in the workplace initiatives, including design and delivery of a webinar entitled, ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace: Practices for Sustaining Trauma-Informed Care,’ a day-long virtual training event, ‘Mindfulness: The Inner Work of Racial Healing and Trauma-Informed Care, ‘Monthly RC Mindfulness’ pilot and a ‘30-Day RC Mindfulness Challenge.’ John is a Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator (CWMF), is certified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and has participated in virtual and in-person Mindfulness in the Workplace Summits by Mindful Leader.