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Walking Meditation With Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about an experience while visiting Seoul, South Korea. He walked with a large crowd and felt tired. When he meditated on his walking and the earth beneath his feet, he felt lighter. The earth supported him and he walked tirelessly. Tess Gallagher writes about a similar experience.

I often take for granted people and things that give me comfort and support. I take for granted the earth and how it effortlessly supports me as I walk, but I also take for granted the steps I take in moving the mountain.

Through mindfulness and attention, I live with the ebbs and flows of energy that I experience in daily life. We become part of the world and it becomes part of each of us.

Fifty of us follow him loosely
up the mountain at Deer Park Monastery.
We are in the slow motion of a dream
lifting off the dreamer’s brow. Steps
into steps and the body rising out
of them like smoke from a fire
with many legs. Gradually the flames
die down and the earth is finally under us.
Inside the mountain a centipede crawls
into no-up, no-down.

Our meditations
waver and recover us, waver
and reel us in to our bodies
like fish willing at last to take on the joy
of being fish, in or out of the water.
When we gather at last at the summit
and sit with him
we know we have moved the mountain
to its top as much as it carried us
deeply into each step.

Going down is the same.
We breathe and step. Breathe,
and step. A many-appendaged being
in and out of this world. No use
telling you about peace attained.
Get out of your feet.
Your breath. Enter
the mountain.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

5 responses »

  1. I experienced that feeling of energy as I walked in nature today from a bubbling stream to a cascading waterfall and back to the peaceful running waters. It was an unexpected energy boost.

    Reply
  2. Walking or being in nature delivers us out of our head and into our senses. We let go of thinking and start to exist, feel, sense.

    Our sight, smell and hearing become dominant. We are in a more mindful state, less cognitive.

    Intuition grows when we enter nature and learn this moment is all that exists.

    Reply

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