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Legacy of the Heart by Wayne Muller

Legacy of the Heart by Wayne Muller

Author:Wayne Muller
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childshood, Wayne Muller, Dysfunctional Family, Child Abuse, Adult Children of Alcoholics, ACOA, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Sufi traditions, Native American traditions, Yoga Warriors, Spiritual Awakening, Spiritual Healing, Psychological Healing, Childhood Trauma, Childhood Behaviors, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Forgiveness, Victimhood, Life-Affirming, Affirmation, Meditation, Divorce, Sex Abuse, Depression, Social Dysfunction, Emotional Dysfunction, Institute of the Southwest
Publisher: Author & Company
Published: 1993-04-07T04:00:00+00:00


EXERCISE

Walking Meditation

In this exercise we use walking as a way to practice simplicity of attention. Normally when we walk, we are trying to get from one place to another, using our walking to help us accomplish some task. Perhaps we are rushing to an appointment, walking through a store as we do our shopping, or perhaps we are jogging to keep ourselves fit. For now we will walk simply to walk, to experience the sensation of walking.

You may do this meditation inside or outdoors. Begin by finding a place to stand quietly, centering your attention in the body. After a moment, begin walking very slowly, at a fraction of your normal walking speed. Allow each step to take a few seconds. Find a comfortable pace that is not so slow that you feel off-balance, yet not so fast that it is difficult to focus your attention on each step. The object is not to get somewhere, but to observe what it feels like to be walking.

Let yourself become aware of three distinct movements contained in each step you take. The first movement occurs when you lift your foot up from the earth. As your foot rises off the ground, note silently to yourself ‘‘lifting.” The second movement is “moving,” when you move your foot through the air as you step forward. Again, as this happens, note “moving.” Last, as you place your foot on the ground and complete the step, note “placing.”

As you walk slowly forward, allow your eyes to rest on a spot a few feet ahead of you. The object is not to look from side to side as you would when you took a stroll in the park. The point of this meditation is to experience the many sensations that arise when you simply use your body to walk, one step at a time. Walking mindfully straight ahead, after about fifteen feet you may slowly turn around, noting “turning,” and return back to your original point. If the mind wanders, gently return your attention to the sensations of lifting, moving, and placing. You may repeat this cycle as many times as you like.

Be aware of the unique qualities of each movement. Feel the simplicity of each action as you lift, move, and place your foot on the ground. Feel the sensations that arise with each movement. What do you notice? Do this exercise for fifteen minutes. Notice what happens to the quality of your concentration. Later, you may extend the practice to half an hour.

When you have become comfortable and familiar with the walking meditation, you may expand the practice to include other bodily movements you use every day. Choose a simple, regular activity that you usually perform on “automatic pilot.” Resolve to make that particular activity a meditation for the week, a reminder to wake up, to cultivate simplicity of attention. For example, you may choose making tea, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, or taking a bath. Before each activity, pause for a few seconds



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