Mindful Barefoot Walking Meditation
Dr. stephen Blake
I have been blessed to be in the company of my Buddhist brothers and sisters at the Deer Park Monastery for the past 3 years. I have been blessed to be a student of Zen Buddhism under the wings of Thay ( Thich Nhat Hanh) and it has helped me find true happiness🙏
One of the meditations I thoroughly enjoy is the Silent Walking meditation practice. I have reflected on this practice for 3 years and during that time while traveling in the Andes Mountains of Peru, I wrote these words about my personal experience with the practice of Silent Mindful Walking to share with all of you.
Please enjoy my journey with this practice and do your best to welcome it into your life.
The act of mindful walking is a form of moving meditation that allows the individual to be in a place of Stillness while moving. This practice allows one to experience the present moment in its ultimate dimension. In the philosophy of Zen, the practice of mindful walking is called a Samatha meditation, which means ” stopping.”
Stopping refers to stopping of the mind from dwelling in the past or future and staying ever present in the moment. The only way one can witness the ultimate experience of mindful walking, is to be silent within and without.
If at all possible, walk barefoot to help you connect with the Precious Earth. When you wear shoes with rubber or plastic souls, you insulate yourself from the electrical healing connection with the Earth. Touching the Earth with your Bare feet, allows you to experience the exchange of the knowing that is contained within every molecule of the Earth. When you first begin this barefoot mindful walking practice, you will have to go very slowly until your feet are strong enough to move gently upon the Earth with no discomfort.
Mindfulness/ gratefulness proceeds all that we do. I have arrived, I am home is a great starting point for being mindful of the moment. I smile, breathe mindfully and experience the joy of the magic of being able to walk. As TNH teaches us, “I have arrived” means I am already where I want to be-with life itself-and I don’t need to rush anywhere, I don’t have to go looking for anything more. “I am home” means I have come back to my true home, which is life here in the present moment.
Center, relax and smile before you take your first step. My favorite gatha for practicing my daily barefoot mindful walking meditation is, the mind can go in a thousand direction. On this beautiful path I walk in PEACE. With each step a gentle wind blows. With each step a flower blooms. To help you stay in ️Stillness while walking, be mindful of your breath and do your best to be present in the space between breaths. This sweet spot, I call knowing without knowing, is the island within us all, where our true self resides.
As the Native American Shaman have taught us for thousands of years, you cannot listen if your lips are moving. Not moving your Lips is their way of saying silence your mind. To listen the ultimate dimension, you must be in ️Stillness to remember what you already know. ️Wisdom is knowing, knowing is not knowing, not knowing is ️Stillness, ️Stillness is our INTERBEING, which is LOVE.
Take each step as if it were your first and your last. Be grateful for the thought that proceeded every cell in your body that has come before this miracle in the form of the now. Smile and see every cell in your body and all that is, smiling with you. See the smile upon your heart radiating out into the Universe. See yourself looking back at the smile upon your face and smiling back at you. Feel the gentle wind blow, the breath of the angel’s wings behind the wind, whisper in your ear. “We are here for you and you are never alone.” As your Barefeet glide softly, silently over the Earth, toe to heal, feel the healing energy of mother flow up into your body and energize every cell in your body. Feel the joy of being a spiritual being, able to have a spiritual experience in physical form.
In your Stillness, listen to what all is around you wants to share with you. Walk with an Open heart, expecting nothing in return, and being grateful for all that is. In that barefoot mindful walking moment you will feel/see or hear what is there to remember by allowing it to be.
Make it your daily practice to set aside time for this practice of mindful walking meditation. The more time you gift yourself time for this practice, the easier it will be for you to use this throughout your day in your daily lives. With time, you will find you automatically do this practice whenever you move your feet.
Whenever you catch your mind doing monkey minds, take a deep breath, smile and return to the Stillness of breathing in, breathing out and the space between each breath. Do your best to walk in such a manner that you make no sounds as you walk gently on the rice paper of life.
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