Personal Information on walking:
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Discovering the art of walking
"Walking is a magical way of meditating. It brings multiple benefits as it equally exercises the body, the mind and the spirit at the same time that it brings the most peaceful state of present awareness.
It teaches the surrendering simple art of contemplating life evolve and of learning to enjoy our very being and breathing."
Since I can remember I have always loved walking in nature. As a kid I would frequently get lost while wandering around, guided by an eager interest in getting closer and closer to nature. To me walking and nature go hand in hand. I cannot really separate one from the other.
My first walks as an adult where more traditional in the sense that I would not allow myself to get totally lost in the art of walking. I would restrict certain needs and not act on all the ideas springing from my heart. However, as time went on I started to connect more and more with the wishes of my heart and to listen to what it had to tell me and where it would want to take me. In this way, I would be pulled to bring my walk to an immediate halt when witnessing a magical view and I would be asked to just stand or sit there contemplating in complete silence all the surrounding beauty. After a while, I would move on until sooner or later I would be drawn to some other area and asked to lie down and observe the open and infinite sky.
Back on my feet again, I would only walk for another few minutes before I would feel my eyes fixing on a birdnest sitting on a bush or on the wonderful sight of wild flower blooming. I would feel like being in a magical infinite museum where no matter how much time one might have, it can never seem enough to see and feel everything one wants to. So as the years past by, I kept walking and surrendering more and more of my self to welcome the most divine experiences of communion with it all. I would experience an overwhelming peace and an infinite feeling of universal love and inner bliss. Eventually, I would be asked to pay heed to a bird singing and stand quietly doing nothing else but devoting my full attention to those marvelous sounds springing from the music box of nature. I would later realize that my eyes would naturally close and this would proportionately increase and enhance the quality of the sounds making my whole experience totally blissful and rich.
As time went by, I felt called to hug a tree or caress a particular plant, to submerge my hands in the water and feel its warmth or to pick up a particular rock or stick. Sometimes either the rock or the stick or both, wanted to go for a ride or often even come and settle in at home with me. Eventually, I found to my surprise that my eyes would naturally close themselves for most of my walk in order to get more of those qualities of nature which are hidden and unseen. Every now and then my eyes would suddenly open again to fix my interested sight on a butterfly landing on a flower or on a fish dancing in the clear water. Because of all this gradual self-discovery and inner progression in my walking, before long this activity had evolved into a beautiful art. Walking has therefore become what I would call "a mutual dance with all of nature." I back then that I would be hooked for life to this insightful and rewarding daily practice.
Needless to say, walking has given me so many gratifying fruits: peace, a sense of global love, interconnection with nature, an awareness of being a unique and precious piece within this intertwined web called life. It has also nourished my mind with creativity, images, sounds and positive loving thoughts. It is incredible to realize how much beauty and knowledge is openly available to all of us. All walking demands from us is to put on a pair of shoes, some clothing appropriate for the present weather conditions and to bring an open heart to receive a lifetime worth of wisdom and teachings. It all comes free in one perfect package!
Walking makes us aware of the change of seasons, of the weather patterns and of the beauty that comes from recognizing how unique and perfect each moment is. There are never two walks which will be the same. Even if we were to walk the same path for many years, we would still discover, feel and see different unique things each day. In the fall, I love to see the leaves gradually dress up on their most fancy and shining colors. It is great to see the first flakes of snow each winter and observe the animals searching for a warm place to rest during that long and cold season. In the springtime, I love to get up in the morning to smell the warmth and the scent of life in the air and to look in the garden and contemplate with the music of the birds singing the magical awakening. I usually enjoy observing the seeds waking up and waving their first tender and light green shoots! Isn't it wonderful??!!! I love when the seeds wake up after being dormant for so long and suddenly they break through the earth to share with one their most splendorous freshness and magical awakening!
Among the many lessons I have learned form nature during my daily walks is the fact that it doesn't know the word or the concept "competition." Each of those seeds grow at their own time and pace. Each plant shines its beauty independently of the others, each animal accepts and loves itself without wishing to be any other. For nature shows no sign of trying to live or be like others. Instead, nature embraces it all as it is without judging, without comparing without wishing to be different.
Sometimes I focus on something in particular I see during my walks and I place my full attention on it. On certain instances I have made the spring buds part of my daily meditation for a week and I have had the pleasure of witnessing them grow. I have been able to follow their process until they are all open to a full bloom. I have learned lots from them. They have taught me that they are way smarter than us humans for they do not have to resort to constant action. They just sit there in complete silence and are totally willing to shine their beauty and spread their fragrant scent to all their natural surroundings and to all passers by: humans and non-humans, without ever showing any sign of judging their selves or those around them. How much wisdom freely sitting in these simple yet sacred plants.
During my walks, Nature has taught me that there are hidden perfect cycles beyond our comprehension and that if we learn to respect them, to willingly abide by them and to cooperate with them, our lives can flow softly and easily in spite of any hurdles or obstacles we may face along the way. I have learned about accepting each moment as it naturally evolves and cherishing its innate value. I have learned that nature does never struggle against itself but that it always shows perfect adaptability to the most radical circumstances; and in so doing, it teaches us about acceptance of what's happening and about willing openness to embrace our ever-evolving moment to moment reality.
Nature has also taught me that what we might consider or view as reality might not necessarily be so but an illusion created by our human minds. During my many walks and deep attentive observations I have frequently pondered on how I would view reality if I were a tree or any plant or animal exiting in nature. This simple exercise made me understand that if being a tree I would observe everyday all different kinds of actions and patterns: from people hurting me to others caressing me, to a dog peeing on me or a storm breaking my favorite arm. It is also possible that I would believe that I would be all those external factors. Yet, the truth is that basically I would still be the same tree in spite of what it would be happening around me, and my only job in that whole picture would be to just sit there without needing to interact with what is happening but just embracing it for what it is. I would be tempting to believe that my reality is all I see around me, yet the truth is that my only reality is my own innate being which happens to be different from what I see on the outside world.
I just like sometimes to do such mind games to question how I perceive my own life. How sometimes I might believe that because something is happening in the outside world it should affect my inner peace or my ever flowing state of being. The truth is that I exist and I can be in peace and inner silence independently of what I am experiencing as real. It takes the silent presence of a tree, a plant or a flower to understand how simply we are meant to be ourselves by fully embracing our uniqueness.
I like to go for walks at different times of the day, my most favorite ones being: dawn and dusks. At both these times, I enjoy seeing the light dance between the branches and I admire the show put up in conjunction with the sun, the moon and the stars. I love walking in the morning because it gives a nice, clear and fresh start to my day. However, I also love to walk when I am confused or if I am experiencing problems. This is because throughout the walk I can feel all those subtle, unimportant problems gradually fade away and I can recover naturally my inner peace and silence. Then, I can walk back to society and I am able to spread all that infinite love back to the world and make sure that I pass around all the wonderful positive energy I gain during my walks.
To conclude, if you haven' tried walking, I urge you to put your shoes on (or go barefoot if can) and to experience the many wonders derived from the beautiful art of walking.
I promise that you will discover a whole new dimension to your everyday life and that you will soon be able enjoy the multiple fruits of practicing this mindful art!
If you would like to share with me any of your walking experiences do not hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Love and peace,
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