STEPPING INTO PEACE
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. He is the man Martin Luther King called “An Apostle of peace and nonviolence.” His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. Excerpts from one of his talks is given below.
· Mindful walking simply means walking while being aware of each step and of our breath. It can be practiced anywhere, whether you are alone in nature or with others in a crowded city.
· Walking on this earth is a joy. Mindful walking allows us to be aware of the pleasure of walking. We can keep our steps slow, relaxed, and calm. There is no rush, no place to get to, no hurry. Mindful walking can release our sorrows and our worries and help bring peace into our body and mind.
· Placing our footsteps one after the other slowly and in silence, we can create joy with each step. If we take steps without anxiety, in peace and joy, then we will cause a flower to bloom on the earth with every step.
· “Usually when I go to the airport, I like to arrive early so that I can do walking meditation before the flight. About thirty years ago I was walking in the Honolulu airport. Someone came up to me and asked, “Who are you; what is your spiritual tradition?” I said, “Why do you ask?” And he said, “Because I see that the way you walk is so different than the way others walk. It’s so peaceful and relaxed.” He had approached me simply because of the way I walked. I hadn’t given a speech or a conference. With every step you make, you can create peace within yourself and give joy to other people.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh