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 kinhen is zazen, "sitting meditation".

See also


  1. Maezumi 2002, pp. 48-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Aitken 1999, pp. 35-6.
  3. "Kinhin". Empty Bowl Zendo. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 


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