The mind can go in a thousand directions.
But on this beautiful path, I walk in peace.
At each step, a gentle wind blows.
At each step, a flower opens.
We constantly walk, but it is often more of a run. Our hurried steps print on the earth anxiety and regret. If we can take a step in peace, we can give two, three, four and then five steps for the peace and happiness of humanity and the Earth.
In walking meditation, we walk just to enjoy walking. Walk without arriving, this is the technique. There is a word in Sanskrit, apranihita . It means without desire, without purpose. The idea is that we do not put anything in front of us and run after it. When we practice walking meditation, we do it with this spirit. We enjoy walking, without any purpose or particular destination. Our walk is not a means to an end. We walk for the pleasure of walking.
Our mind tends to jump from one thing to another, like a monkey jumping from one branch to another without stopping to rest. Thoughts have millions of paths and drag us into the world of oblivion. If we can transform our path into a field for meditation, our feet will take each step with full awareness. Our breathing will be in harmony with our steps and our mind will easily relax naturally. Each step we take will reinforce our peace and joy resulting in a quiet stream of energy that will flow through us. So we can say, ‘at every step, a gentle wind blows’.
You can practice walking meditation whenever you have to walk, even if it is only from the car to work or from the kitchen to the living room. Whenever you walk somewhere, leave enough time to practice; If it takes three minutes, date eight or ten. Whenever I go to the airport I give myself an extra hour to practice walking meditation there. Friends try to hold me until the last minute, but I resist. I tell them I need the time. Walking meditation is like eating. With each step we feed our body and our spirit. When we walk with regret and anxiety, it is like a kind of junk food. The food of walking meditation must be of high quality. It’s just about walking slowly and enjoying a peaceful feast.
AJ Muste said, ‘There is no path to peace, peace is the way.’ Walking in full consciousness brings us peace and joy, and makes our life real. Why go in a hurry? Our final destination will be none other than the cemetery. Why not walk in the direction of life, enjoying peace at every moment and at every step? There is no effort. Enjoy every step you take. Each step brings you to the home of the here and now. This is your true home, because only at this moment, in this place, can life be possible. We have already arrived.
The Earth is our mother. When we move away from Mother Nature for a long time, we get sick. Each step we take in walking meditation allows us to get in touch with our mother, and thus be able to be well again. Much damage has been done to Mother Earth so it is time to kiss the Earth with our feet and heal our mother.
Some of us may not be able to walk. When we practice meditation walking in our retreats, each person who can not walk chooses someone who is practicing meditation walking to look at him and become one with him, following his steps with full consciousness. In this way, take calm and peaceful steps with your partner, even when he or she can not walk.
Those of us with two legs should not forget to be grateful. We walk by ourselves and walk by those who can not walk. We walk for all living beings, past, present and future.