Zen and The Art of Walking

This is a guest post by Kevin Wood from Counter Culturist

zen

We love to make our lives overly complex.

In our quest for simplicity we get wrapped up in everything we must do to live a simple life. Instead of simply stripping away the unimportant, we force more simple activities into our lives.

We hop off the hamster wheel of consumerism and step right back onto another one. The only difference is this one makes us feel a little bit better about ourselves.

We’re seeking a secret that we grasp in our palms.

We all have the power to live a simpler life and it all begins with one single step, literally.

More is always better, right?

We’ve all been cultured to believe that more is always better. The more activities we engage in, the more items on our to-do list, the fuller our calendar, then the better we are at living our lives. This includes almost every area of our lives. The more goods we consume, the more people we meet, the more experiences we have, the more we’re winning at life. The cycle never ends. We’re on an infinite escalator to nowhere.

It’s as if we’re trying to fill a black hole where out hearts used to be.

This way of being isn’t entirely our fault, it’s been wired in us, almost since birth. We’ve been living this way for so long it seems there’s no escape. Any other way of being seems crazy, or does it?

There is true, lasting beauty in less

It’s time for a shift. A shift towards less, but at the same time a push towards more. It’s about dropping the meaningless and the mundane to make room for the new. It’s about going deeper with things instead of merely floating along the surface.

We’re substituting quality for quantity.

When you first begin to make this shift you may cut certain areas and habits out of your life, and instead of letting them go, you’ll replace them with another. In our quest for less we end up staying in the same place we began.

Learning to let go

When we are on a path towards simpler living we must embrace letting go if we want to truly find peace in less. In simplicity there is beauty. In simplicity there is strength.

To reach this point the process of letting go needs to play a crucial role in your life.

Letting go is always a process. If you’re getting rid of some physical goods and embracing the path of minimalism, it’s a process to box up your goods, donate them, and give yourself space to recover in the aftermath.

When you’re introducing simplicity into your life, embrace the journey. Everything is only a continual unfolding anyways.

Letting go means sitting with what has just happened. It means bringing greater awareness into your experiences. In letting go you cultivate depth. This depth brings more meaning into your life than you have ever imagined.

The juiciness of a deep breath. The lasting warmth of a long hug. The embrace of a lover. The smell of the first rain of the season.

However, there’s one activity that adds more depth than the rest. And it’s probably something you already do daily.

Practicing the art of walking

Taking a single step has the potential to be one of the most impactful moments of your entire life. In fact every moment possess this power. I want to help you tap into the immense power that a every movement holds.

Hopefully, you already walk every day. As a culture we’ve gotten away from walking and now rely on cars for our most basic needs. We’re so short on time that walking for any reason seems ludicrous. We’ve lost our souls for the sake of efficiency.

“The walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours …but it is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day.” -Henry David Thoreau

Your walk is an adventure, meditation, and way to connect with your deepest self.

There’s only one more ingredient you need to add to turn your walks into the stuff of legends, presence.

By coupling your breathe and bodily awareness with this simple activity you’ll drop into the deepest parts of yourself.

Try this on for size:

  1. Pick an area that holds a lot of value to you, it can be a forest trail, or even the city streets.
  2. Turn off your phone (I know it’s in your pocket).
  3. Go for a walk.
  4. Feel your body, and listen to your breath while you drink in your surroundings.

It’s that simple.

For an added dash of spice try to focus on your breath with every step, or focus on the feeling of the surface of your boot against on the ground. Narrow your focus down to a single element. The smaller the better.

Let your worries slip away and immerse yourself in the beauty of this moment.

Your feet move, your thoughts swirl, and your heart remains open. The beauty of simplicity is live and well.

What are you waiting for? The world awaits!

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Kevin helps people connect with their hearts to create a life of freedom. Get the free toolkit he made for you: click here to get your toolkit, unlock your heart and live free.

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*Photo Credit by Pink Sherbet Photography

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3 Responses to Zen and The Art of Walking

  1. Colleen January 7, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Nice post Kevin. Thank you for sharing it with us Tohami. I will keep this in mind the next time I step out, which is frequently these days. My walks include the harbour, the beach and the city, which are all alive with their own particular brand of action and beauty. And are all right outside by door.

  2. Alexandra January 23, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    Beautifully written, thank you.

    • Thomas June 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

      Walking is a wonderful way to meditate. I live close to the forest here in Norway and walk in the woods almost every day with my dog Rocky. The bonding we form in nature is strong and beautiful. Thanks for a nice blog which I recently stumbled upon and enjoy very much.

      Thomas

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