Walking meditation ( cankama ) is a method of training the mind that is included in the Buddha’s Teachings. This method has been popular among meditators from the Buddha’s time up until the present time because it has many benefits for both body and mind.

“ Cankama ” is translated as ‘Steady Walking’ that is to say, walking along with mindfulness or having mindfulness accompanying every step, being aware of the walking experience, and being on guard against distractions. It means walking up and down within a prescribed distance and for a predetermined time. The distance for walking should not be less than 25 paces and not more than 50 paces (but if such an area cannot be found, then less than 25 paces can be used). While walking the eyes should be kept fixed on the ground, about six feet in front, and the way of walking should be peaceful with moderate steps. The amount of time should be determined according to what one likes, which may be 20 or 30 minutes. After having walked in meditation, the mind will be more calm than usual, as a meditator can experience for himself.

The Lord Buddha has told of the benefits of walking meditation like this in the Numerical ( Anguttara ) Collection, Book of the Five, as follows:

1. One is able to travel long journeys (on foot). This means not only a long distant journeys but also a speedy walk.

2. One is to be patient in meditation practice. This means that one can train the mind patiently over a long period and it is better than just meditation all the time.

3. One has good health. This practice makes the body strong so that one has fewer diseases.

4. One has greater digestive power. That is, one will not have constipation or stomachache. Food is completely digested and because of this one has a good appetite and good health.

5. Concentration which has been developed while walking lasts a long time. This means that while walking the mind can experience Samadhi or deep concentration that does not deteriorate quickly.

Therefore, those who want good physical and mental health should use walking meditation and then good results may be seen by themselves, such as an increase of good health, a strong and active body, and disappearance of some kinds of diseases without taking medicine.

Recent Stories