|Walking and Eating
Mindfully in the Park
October 8, 2005
Los Angeles , CA
10:00 am Gathering and Introduction
11:00 am Walking in Peace
12:00 pm Lunch in silence
(please bring your own sack-lunch)
People say that walking on water is a miracle, but to me, walking peacefully on the Earth is the real miracle. The Earth is a miracle. Taking steps on our beautiful planet brings real happiness and peace to ourselves, and our world.
-Thich Nhat Hanh-
Walking meditation can be every enjoyable. We walk slowly, alone or with friends, if possible in some beautiful place. Walking meditation is to enjoy the walking - walking not in order to arrive, just for walking.
The purpose is to be in the present moment and enjoy each step you make. Therefore you have to shake off all worries and anxieties, not thinking of the future, not thinking of the past, just enjoying the present moment. We walk all the time, but usually it is more like running. Our hurried steps print anxiety and sorrow on the Earth. If we can take one step in peace, we can take two, three, four, and then five steps for the peace and happiness of humankind.
When we practice walking meditation, we bring our awareness into our body, to our feet stepping on the earth, and to our natural breath, in and out. We relax, enjoying this moment of walking as a free person, and allow the many wonders of life around us bring us deep happiness.
||Take my hand
We will walk
We will only walk
We will enjoy our walk
Without thinking of arriving anywhere
Our walk is a peace walk
Our walk is a happiness walk.
Nourishing our Body and Spirit
Eating with mindfulness can bring you a lot of joy and happiness. In my tradition, eating is a deep practice. First, we sit in a stable position, then we look at the food and smile to it. Looking at a carrot, I can see a cloud floating in it. I can see the rain and the sunshine.
When I chew the carrot, I am just chewing a carrot, not my worries or my anger. I chew with one hundred percent of myself. I feel a connection to the sky, the Earth, and the farmers who grow the food. Eating like this, I feel that solidity, freedom, and joy are possible. The meal not only nourishes my body, but also my soul, my consciousness, and my spirit.
A Sangha is a community or group of people practicing and supporting each other. What we need most on our planet today is to learn and practice cooperation, understanding and acceptance. Sharing our daily life we can encourage each other and together build solidity, peace and joy.
Trusting in one another and practicing together is the best solution of all.
-Thich Nhat Hanh-
Songs which can be used during walking and sitting meditations, as we are aware of our in and out breath.
I Have Arrived
I have arrived, I am home in the here, and in the now (2x) I am solid, I am free (2x) In the ultimate, I dwell (2x)
Breathing in, Breathing out
Breathing in, breathing out (2x) I am blooming as a flower, I am fresh as the dew, I am solid as a mountain, I am firm as the earth, I am free. Breathing in, breathing out (2x) I am water reflecting what is real, what is true and I feel there is space deep inside of me, I am free (3x)
In , Out, Deep, Slow, Calm, Ease, Smile, Release, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment
Thich Nhat Hanh lives and teaches much of the year in the Plum Village practice center in France . The center is open for friends to come most of the year, with a special summer opening in July/August.
There are two monastic communities in the United States where a number of monastic disciples of Thich Nhat Hanh live. These centers ( Maple Forest Monastery-Green Mountain Dharma Center in Vermont and Deer Park Monastery in Escondido , CA ) are also open most of the year for friends to come and practice mindfulness.
For more information please contact:
Maple Forest Monastery (802)457-9442
Green Mtn Dharma Center (802)436-1103
Deer Park Monastery
There are about 200 groups (Sanghas) around the U.S.A. which gather regularly to support each other in the their practice of mindfulness and meditation. To get information on local Sangha groups, you can contact: www.iamhome.org