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Walking Meditation

On these beautiful days, walking is a way for me to move my body, breathe in nature, listen to the sounds of life around me and relax into the moment step by step. I wanted to share Thich Nhat Hanh’s words and poem on walking meditation.

Walking Meditation – poem by Thich Nhat Hanh

“Walking meditation is practicing meditation while walking. It can bring you joy and peace while you practice it. Take short steps in complete relaxation; go slowly with a smile on your lips, with your heart open to an experience of peace. You can feel truly at ease with yourself. Your steps can be those of the healthiest, most secure person on earth. All sorrows and worries can drop away while you are walking. To have peace of mind, to attain self-liberation, learn to walk in this way. It is not difficult. You can do it. Anyone can do it who has some degree of mindfulness and a true intention to be happy.”

“Take my hand. We will walk. We will only walk. We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere. Walk peacefully. Walk happily. Our walk is a peace walk. Our walk is a happiness walk. Then we learn that there is no peace walk; that peace is the walk; that there is no happiness walk; that happiness is the walk. We walk for ourselves. We walk for everyone always hand in hand. Walk and touch peace every moment. Walk and touch happiness every moment. Each step brings a fresh breeze. Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet. Kiss the Earth with your feet. Print on Earth your love and happiness. Earth will be safe when we feel in us enough safety.”

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I love what you said about walking. In my meditation, I visualized my lungs working, the oxygen being brought into them, the exchange in my cells, the carbon dioxide going out. I had a nice time in my lungs.

  • I liked the words “if we feel safe, the world is safe”. It can be taken two ways: how we experience it, and how we act and don't strike out.

  • I think about that too. When I am impatient, I can see it is from my fear.

  • My meditation was conflicted. I feel how unsafe people are. I am sad about Minneapolis. I don’t feel safe. It makes me so sad. I have a friend who is having surgery; she has a racist attitude. I feel the conflict feeling safe in my bubble, but not safe outside. But I'm not black. In Minneapolis, people watched it happen. White people are not talking about it. I feel conflicted being American, being white. I'm not physically threatened, but I feel it.

  • You are sensitive. We feel it. Be gentle with self.

  • I walked yesterday. I don’t like walking meditations. I recite another Thich Nhat Hanh poem about “I'm in the here and now.”

  • You are doing a walking meditation even if you aren’t doing I like him. You are breathing in nature. It doesn't have to look a certain way.

  • I loved the reading. I had a horrible day yesterday. I tried to use breathing techniques. I liked the line “the walking is happiness”. In my meditation, I was thinking about seagulls and breathing in the sea air.

  • It’s a way to surrender in the moment

  • My hike in the woods is always in the moment because of all the tree roots. On another part of my walk, I am on 20 minutes on untraveled road. When I thought things were bad a year ago, I would do an enthusiastic wave to every car. It primes the pump for the positive. I figured if things are grim in your world and you leave your house and the first thing you see is positive, maybe you’ll pay it forward. The responses I got were different, old men were slow, teens were unaware, women waved back.

  • It’s like a smile that spreads. It’s contagious.

  • A smile on the lips. An inner smile too makes a difference

  • Yes, an inner smile is in our eyes, even with a mask on

  • I used to take walks with my dogs. Now I sit with my old dogs in the backyard. So many birds. Now I sit and notice, taking time to notice birds, flowers, blossoming. I saw an owl chased by three blue jays

  • You are getting a sense of the culture all around you

  • Being in the now

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