I like to walk.
- I like to walk in town.
- I like various walking styles:
- I like to do Thai Forest, Theravada style walking meditation.
- I like to walk fast.
I don’t like to be seen to be meditating.
- I prefer to meditate in secret or with a group of other meditators,
- I don’t like to perform traditional walking meditation in public,
- I invented my own walking meditation for meditating in public.
I’m not teaching this.
- This practice has no sanction or tradition.
- I’m not suggesting that you do it.
- It’s just something that I like to do.
- I call it meditating because that’s how I experience it.
I wear my normal casual clothes, with whatever shoes that are best for the walking experience I want at that time.
Since I prefer not to stop,
- I choose long routes that are clearly marked for pedestrians.
- For my taste, this is usually best in town.
I used to walk around Manhattan and do this, in the evening, after most of the workers had left town for the night.
I’d nearly forgotten how much I loved this adaptation of walking meditation.
In Willits, I like to walk on Main Street, which is Highway 101.
And I like to walk elsewhere.
I choose a destination that I think is far enough away to make me tired if I walk there and back at a rapid pace. The pace will be described separately.
- While I walk, I sing the 7-Line Prayer of Padmasambhava
- in Tibetan
- to the tune Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche sang it in,
- very quietly, so nobody can hear me,
- one syllable per step.
I also visualize Padmasambhava in the sky above the mountains.
The pace, the breath, the tune
- are intimately bound together
- as are the visualization
- and the other sense impressions.
- at a pace as fast as I can walk without seeming to hurry
- or seem to be walking for exercise;
- and govern my composure.
- If I strain
- I don’t reveal it.
- Yet I walk with definite purpose
- with focus,
- not looking around,
- gaze forty feet ahead,
- a smile and greeting for anyone met,
- but no change in pace.
- I keep the pace even and brisk,
- relax the arms and chest,
- keep mind on the prayer
- and the visualization
- and the steps
as a mandala.
The rhythm of the walk with the song of the prayer are a drum beat of awareness.
When I arrive home, I sit and let my mind go free.
If it wanders,
I bring it back.