|Care- Full Buddha 12"x 24"|
I pulled out this little book for 2 reasons, one because I have been following the progress of the "Open Mind, Open Heart" Retreat at UBC in Vancouver and secondly because I head off on a 7 day meditation retreat of my own tomorrow. As walking meditation will follow most sitting periods it was really nice to read Thay's simple and enticing words on walking meditation. He says things like, " If I had the Buddha's eyes and could see through everything, I could discern the marks of worry and sorrow you leave in your footprints after you pass, like the scientist who can detect tiny living beings in a drop of pond water with a microscope. Walk so that your footprints bear only the marks of peaceful joy and complete freedom. "
And perhaps I can entice you to join me in a little walking meditation this week. Perhaps these words of Thay's will call to you: " Choose a nice road for your practice, along the shore of a river, in a park, on the flat roof of a building, in the woods, or along a bamboo fence. Such places are ideal, but they are not essential. I know there are people who practice walking meditation in reformation camps, even in small prison cells."
Twice this week I have been reminded by spiritual teacher's talks that practice should not only lead us to joy and ease but joy and ease should be present when we sit in meditation, when we practice. The reminder is a call to give up effort which drains energy and aim for ease. This is such a good reminder for me as I head into retreat. Sometimes I have the feeling I need to "work" hard to be present, that what comes up will be painful and difficult, demons of all manner, but here is the reminder to relax into it. Thich Nhat Hanh reminded participants to embrace their pain, but also that they can change the channel on habitual thinking, that releasing tension in the body will ease physical pain. So it is with these thoughts that I head off on my week's retreat. Happy walking and writing and painting. I look forward to seeing what you've been up to when I return!