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We are going back to Mother Earth at every moment. The earth is not the environment, something outside of us that we need to care for. We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere. Get even more Buddhist wisdom delivered straight to your inbox! To pass an exam, get a car or a house, or get a promotion in your career? In outer appearance she was caught in the prison. The earth is our true home and it is always there, beneath us and around us. Walk happily. Our breathing has the function of helping our body and mind to calm down. Our walk is a peace walk. I know that earth is my home. He was born in Vietnam in 1926 and became a monk at the age of sixteen. We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere. Every tiny chapter is direct, encouraging, and useful. Part of love is responsibility. But when I do walking meditation and touching the earth, I do not have that kind of dualistic view. Choose a time and a place in your local area to practice Walking In Freedom - and if you feel moved, please share a picture of your mindful walking for us to share with Thich Nhat Hanh as a continuation day gift. With each breath we may take just one step. All the Buddhist stories tell us that the Buddha had a lot of happiness when he sat, when he walked, when he ate. It was very small—after seven steps she had to turn around and come back. You love the earth and the earth loves you. by Thich Nhat Hanh Original Language English. When we look again at the earth and the sky, we see that the earth is a wonderful reality. We will only walk. – Thich Nhat Hanh. We will walk. You don’t need to be accepted by others. Every mindful step can manifest that love. We will only walk. Many of us walk for the sole purpose of getting from one place to another. Walking meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh during a Day of Mindfulness at Deer Park Monastery. Wherever we walk, whether it’s the railway station or the supermarket, we are walking on the earth and so we are in a holy sanctuary. We should be very respectful, because we are walking on our mother. Walk peacefully. The Honey Locust Sangha / Omaha Community of Mindful Living is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Keep walking and you will find the natural connection between your breath and your steps. The earth is solid—it can carry so many things. We will walk. We get lost in our computer or in our worries, fear, or busyness. We have arrived at where real life is available—the present moment. deep inside of me. She came to the United States to study English literature before going back to Vietnam and becoming a nun. Learn how your comment data is processed. In a while the solidity of the earth can help us return to ourselves. The following is a story told by the exiled activist. Breathe, take a mindful step, and arrive. Walk peacefully. Print on Earth your love and happiness. We want to provide even more Buddhist wisdom but our resources are strained. With each step we fully arrive in the present moment. This method uses mindfulness of breathing, along with what are called ‘gathas’, or short meditation poems. One way to practice walking meditation is to breathe in and take one step, and focus all your attention on the sole of your foot. Anyone can do this. To be grounded in the earth is to feel its solidity with each step and know that we are right where we are supposed to be. I propose that we walk this way every time we walk on the earth. Paul Tillich, the German theologian, said, “God is not a person but not less than a person.” This is true of the earth as well. Even when we scratch ourselves, skin cells will fall and return to the earth. If three hundred people sit or walk like this, each one generates the energy of mindfulness, peace, and compassion, and everyone in the group receives that healing energy. We don’t need to wait until after our body has disintegrated to go back to Mother Earth. Our walk is a happiness walk. Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Walking meditation is first and foremost a practice to bring body and mind together peacefully. Always follow the needs of your lungs. Each step brings a fresh breeze. There is enough for us to be happy. Photo by Don Farber. Here is a basic method of meditation, as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Walking meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh during a Day of Mindfulness at Deer Park Monastery. This body is a wonder. We will walk. We don’t rush. He's also the author of At Home in the World, The Other Shore, and more than a hundred other books that have sold millions of copies worldwide. If this is comfortable for you, please enjoy practicing this way. The earth doesn’t discriminate. I would like to share with you something called ‘telephone meditation’. We need to be awake to the fact that the earth is in danger and living species on earth are also in danger. Photo by Don Farber. We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere. Any living being who has awakening, peace, understanding, and love can be called a bodhisattva, but a bodhisattva doesn’t have to be a human being. “Walking Meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh” ©2006 Tess Gallagher. She was a peace activist I knew since she was in middle school. Thich Nhat Hanh currently lives in Vietnam. Back to Top. Don’t think that one can be if the other is not. But we can all invite the Buddha to walk for us. Walk and touch peace every moment. Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh's devotion to the path of truth is displayed strongly in his life and in his writings. We will only walk. You’re in touch with the whole universe. Many of us walk for the sole purpose of getting from one place to another. Our planet earth is itself a true, great bodhisattva. Our body and our mind are two aspects of the same reality. You may very well know us as the publishers of two Buddhist magazines, the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma. When you practice this way, your steps are those of the most secure person on earth. Feel the gravity that makes every step attach to the earth. This kind of energy can heal and transform. It is wonderful enough just to be alive, to breathe in, and to make one step. The earth is not just your environment, to be taken care of or worshiped; you are each other. Walk peacefully. The bodhisattva is not a separate spirit inhabiting the earth; we should transcend that idea. When we look into our own bodily formation, we are made of the same elements as the planet. When we breathe in, we may take two or three steps. We can throw fragrant flowers on the earth, or we can throw urine and excrement on the earth, and the earth purifies it. We begin to feel more compassion for ourselves and others. I see the whole cosmos in the earth. No one is free from the pandemic’s impact, including Lion’s Roar. A bodhisattva is not something that is up in the clouds far away from us. You can also try making the in-breath and the out-breath the same length, so that you take three steps with your in-breath and three with your out-breath. It is what allows you to recognize what you are doing in the current moment and to say to yourself, I am alive, I am taking a step. Don’t try to control your breathing. Walking Meditation - Ebook written by Thich Nhat Hanh, Nguyen Anh-Huong. When we walk mindfully, each step reminds us of our responsibility. Don’t forget to practice smiling. There are those of us who do not have the use of our legs. (from “Call me by My True Names  – The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh”, Parallax Press, 2005.). Walk happily. I am free. Our walk is a happiness walk. 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