Zen Walking – this meditation was recently held for the first time at Oshodham, Delhi, with enthusiastic participants. Kul Bhushan reports about their experiences.
Rushing, dashing, running, we are always in a hurry. Walking is never fast enough. Just slow down with Zen Walking and see the difference. Then, walking becomes a spiritual practice, a meditation.
What is Zen Walking?
Walking slowly with total awareness in nature.
Be barefoot to feel the earth, keep your head up, look no further than four feet ahead and open all your senses: listen to the softest sounds like that of falling leaves and birds singing; smell the fragrance of plants and trees; feel the air, the breeze or the wind on your body and motice the presence of twigs, leaves and pebbles under your bare feet.
Be aware when you lift your foot and when you move it forward, and when you place it down to move along. Tell yourself that your body has no weight. Thus, walking becomes a spiritual practice as your mind becomes thought-less. Mostly we walk mindlessly with endless thoughts and fantasies; but if we walk mindfully, we become thought-less.
Osho says, “We have to de-automatize ourselves, we have to become a little more slowed down in every act. So, you have to be aware. When you are walking, don’t walk at the old pace, with old speed; slow down, so much so that you have to be alert, otherwise you will gather your speed again. That is automatic… […] Do everything very silently, very slowly, very peacefully, gracefully, so that each act becomes a deep meditation in awareness.”
Below you can read the experiences of a group of meditators after their first Zen Walk in a bamboo grove at Oshodham, New Delhi. Names are not mentioned to respect their privacy.
“It was so effortlessly meditative. I became one with the ground I walked on, one with the air I breathed, one with the trees and bamboos around me, unaware of time, space and totally thoughtless. Sans worries, anxieties. There was only love for being here; so watchful, so free, so limitless, so guileless, as if I was outside my body. Nothing hurt, nothing bothered; all was acceptable, tranquil, melting, gliding.”
“I felt for the very first time as if I was walking on air. I felt a tiny particle of mother earth welcomed me on each step. I also heard the sound of the leaves when my feet stepped on them. I have never experienced that before.”
“Every step, lifting my foot again and again made me go inside.”
“It was a very peaceful and amazing experience. I saw many tiny creatures on the path and they were walking peacefully without any worries. I heard voices of many birds singing sweet songs which I usually never hear. And the falling of leaves from the trees making light music. It was a wonderful and blissful experience.”
“The cosmos is one, everything feels as one. When my thoughts are with my feet, I am more grounded.”
“This is amazing, walking without feet, flying in the sky. Feeling like Spiderman because of Osho.”
“Feet touched mother earth. Birds sang. Leaves fell down from trees, silence.”
“I felt very peaceful and alert at the same time. Aware of things around me like never before. Truly grateful!”
“Lightness, emptiness, witnessing, peace.”
“Difficult to balance, sometimes I almost fell down. Sometimes the rhythm was there and sometimes the rhythm was completely off; sometimes the mind was rushing, and sometimes the mind was silent.”
“Refreshed. Deep breathing. Feet loved soil. Body loved sun. No weariness of having to be someone.”
“I tremble and can’t walk properly. I can’t use my five senses at the same time. When I become aware of my feet, then the sounds of birds disappear and vice versa.”
“I felt as if walking on air. I feel free.”
“After walking for a short while, the very thought that I was walking was no longer there. I felt as if I had merged into this very existence, as if I was dissolved in the nature around me. Only after I heard a sound and came back to the present moment, did I feel that I was walking.”
“Joyful, light, peaceful, centered, disciplined, balanced. A marvellous experience to walk without the weight of the body, in total awareness and all senses alert, not skipping here and there, centered, centered within and without the body. Ah, what a wonderful Zen walk!”
Quote by Osho from
Fingers Pointing to the Moon, Ch 4 (unpublished)
Related articles and discourse by Osho
Walk barefoot… contact the earth – “If you are walking on soft earth, the best way is to walk barefoot, no shoes. You have a tremendous contact with the earth,” says Osho
Walking barefoot – Studies show what happens to the human body when we walk barefoot, writes Arjun Walia in Collective Evolution