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Walking Meditation: Easy Steps to Mindfulness


Walking Meditation: Easy Steps to Mindfulness

Nguyen Anh-Huong & Thich Nhat Hanh

Some books are designed to be read, studied, discussed; some are written to be contemplated, information percolates, processes. And some are inspired to be lived-there’s energy, passion, grace. Readers feel a resonance, attune with
words on the page creating a sense of safety to peer into the depths, to dive into explorations alone and in relationship.

Walking Meditation is an inspirational work-of-art crafted to offer a real-life experience in walking meditations. It offers compelling poems and narrative, stunning photographs, audio files to guide the practices, and videos-“archival footage of the Venerable Thich Nhat Hahn instructing students in the basic practice of slow walking meditation” (pg. 3}. According to the authors, Walking Meditation is a complete program of meditation instruction that we can use to create our own walking meditation practice.

A confession

At this point in my review, I feel compelled to share that I’ve been a head case most of my life. My aspirations to achieve involved doing, and mostly alone-a lone wolf type. My exercise routine focused on cardiovascular output, as fast and as far as possible in a single day on a single- track trail (i.e. 25 to 30 miles at an average of 3 to 4 mph pace, for the most part solo treks}.

I left out the core of my body as well as any muscular upper body strength. My legs carried the weight. For the most part, I also left out other people. I was happy when I was moving, alone.

Then I started hiking with groups and forming friendships. I discovered that sharing the trail had its merits. Next, I started a new exercise program at the local gym-yoga and high intensity interval training classes. I went from solo movement to group immersion with social engagement as potent a component as the core body. My mental, social and physical needs changed.

I was attracted to the concept of walking meditations because I’m more apt to walk and meditate than sit. Me, my temperament, my way of being, means moving. I’m okay moving slower-aside from my new exercise routines, I also live with my elderly parents who do not move quickly, not even fast. They move slow, steady, safe. And, I’m more interested in sharing experiences with other like-minded people. I look for connections where I feel a sense of, I get you and you get me and this feels good.

When I opened the first few pages of the book and started to read, a thought came to mind:

What if SPT Magazine readers joined me on this new adventure in the art of walking meditation?

What if we live this book together?

Every two weeks or longer if we decide we need more time to be with the practices-this is about being with rather than rushing through – we will read one section of the book and do the practices thanks to the audios and videos available online (the website is given in the book}.

While reading at our own pace, we can post questions and comments on a group forum in our subscriber’s area. And when we do the exercises, we can share our experiences, our awakenings, and our challenges.

We will be doing it alone but together, a co-creation of an experience that will allow us to self-pace and to be part of a community that values communication and connection, that is compassionate and supportive.

Throughout the book we’ll explore: slow walking meditation, walking meditation in nature, walking meditation in public places, walking meditation to embrace your emotions and then going further.

I look forward to sharing our experiences.