5.11.10

Sidewalk Game #2

Walking Meditation

Instructions

  • Walk slowly, in a relaxed way, keeping a light smile on your lips.
  • While walking, practice conscious breathing by counting steps. Notice each breath and the number of steps you take as you breathe in and as you breathe out.
  • You can use words instead of numbers. For instance, “The green planet. The green planet.”
  • You can choose any words you like to fit the number of steps you take on the in-breath and on the out-breath.

Suggestions

  • Don't try to control your breathing. Simply notice how many steps you take as your lungs fill up and empty. The link is the counting.
  • Allow yourself to be – to arrive deeply in the present moment.
  • Visualize a tiger walking slowly, and you will find that your steps become as majestic as hers.
  • Don't walk so slowly that people think you are strange.
  • Walk upright, with calm, dignity, and joy, as though you are an emperor. Place your foot on the earth the way an emperor places his seal on a royal decree.
  • Visualize a flower blooming under each step the moment your foot touches the ground.
  • Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.
  • Walk as if you are massaging the earth with each step.
  • When you walk anywhere, allow enough time to practice. You can practice walking meditation between meetings, on the way to your car, up or down the stairs.
  • When you feel irritated, insecure, angry or unhappy, please touch the earth deeply with your feet.

Comments

  • When we practice this way, we feel deeply at ease, and our steps are those of the most secure person on earth. All our sorrows and anxieties drop away, and peace and joy fill our hearts.
  • What is most important is to find peace and to share it with others. To have peace, you can begin by walking peacefully. Everything depends on your steps.
  • Our walking is not a means to an end. We walk for the sake of walking. We have already arrived.
  • Our earth is filled with deep love for us. When we suffer, she will protect us, nourishing us with her beautiful trees, grasses, and flowers.
  • With each peaceful step you take, all beings, near and far, will benefit. Walk for yourself and you walk for everyone.

[-Thich Nhat Hanh, The Long Road Turns to Joy.]

[Path in Como Park. Img Flickr.]

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