Daily Wisdom / Zen

Walk Mindfully

book coverOur mind likes to think. It thinks that if it is not thinking, it is failing at its job of guiding and protecting us. However, when the mind becomes overactive, the opposite occurs. Its guidance becomes shrill, even cruel, and its constant warnings fill us with anxiety. How can we put the thinking mind in its proper place and perspective? We shift the mind from thinking to awareness, beginning with full awareness of the body.

An essential aspect of Zen practice is walking meditation. Walking meditation helps bring the quiet body/mind of seated meditation into our ordinary active world. Silent walking is a bridge between one side of meditation—silent sitting in pure awareness—and the other side—speaking and moving about.

We can challenge ourselves. Can I keep my mind still and focused in the bottoms of my feet for one or two circuits around the room? Or for the entire length of an outdoor walking path? Or from here to the corner?

From Mindfulness on the Go: Simple Meditation Practices You Can Do Anywhere by Jan Chozen Bays, pages 137–8

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