Walking meditation

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Members of Kanzeon Zen Center during kinhin

Walking meditation, also known as kinhin (Chinese: 経行; pinyin: jīngxíng; Japanese pronunciation: kinhin, kyōgyō; Korean: gyeonghyaeng; Vietnamese: kinh hành) is the walking meditation that is practiced between long periods of the sitting meditation known as zazen.[1] The practice is common in Zen, Chan Buddhism, Korean Seon and Vietnamese Thiền.


Practitioners walk clockwise around a room while holding their hands in shashu (Chinese: 叉手; pinyin: chā shǒu): one hand closed in a fist while the other hand grasps or covers the fist.[2] During walking meditation each step is taken after each full breath.[3]

The pace of walking meditation may be slow (several steady steps per each breath) or brisk, almost to the point of jogging.[2]


The terms consist of the Chinese words "to go through (like the thread in a loom)", with sutra as a secondary meaning, and "walk". Taken literally, the phrase means "to walk straight back and forth." The opposite in Japanese to kinhin is zazen, "sitting meditation".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maezumi & Glassman 2002, pp. 48-9.
  2. ^ a b Aitken 1999, pp. 35-6.
  3. ^ "Kinhin". Empty Bowl Zendo. Retrieved April 1, 2015.