Walking Meditation Guidelines

Posture: Maintain the same posture as in zazen.

Hands and Arms: The hands in kin-hin are the cosmic mudra upside down: Left hand on the bottom, right hand placed on top, with the thumbs tucked in, knuckles face up, hands close to your chest. The forearms are in a horizontal position, so that you walk with a sense of authority.

Whenever the kin-hin clappers sound, it is a signal for you to change hand position either from gassho to kin-hin position or vice versa, or to bow or to stop. Please try to become familiar with these hand changes and do them. It is part of mindfulness practice.

Eyes: The eyes are cast down and front while keeping the head straight. Do not bend your head down, a natural tendency.

Feet: Place your attention on your feet as they touch the ground, following one step after the other. First the heel followed by the ball and toes, all placed on the floor with attention. Take small steps so that you can maintain your posture. During slow kin-hin, gaps can exist between you and the person in front of you. During fast kin-hin, gradually catch up to the person in front of you, leaving no gaps.In slow kin-hin, we walk as individuals. In fast kin-hin, we walk as one.

Mindfulness: In general, remember that kin-hin is not a break. It is walking meditation as opposed to sitting meditation and the same degree of mindfulness and concentration must apply.