I hope to share some of my experiences from living and working for a year amongst the community in the Buddhist Retreat Centre known as Plum Village, located in the Dordogne region of SW France.
This blog was used previously to promote a year of Mindful Walks across Belfast.
Mick McEvoy from Groundwork N.I in partnership with Active Belfast invite you to join us on a year long programme of guided Mindful walks in Belfast City Council Parks and Gardens.
Every guided Mindful walk is FREE and will last approximately an hour. We will offer Mindful walks all over the City of Belfast throughout the next 12 months. We will enjoy walking solidly, in the present moment and enjoy the seasons changing. We will advertise every Mindful walk here in advance. Come along for all the walks or or join us for a few walks in your local park. Feel free to join for a part of the walk if you can’t stay for the whole hour.
What is Mindfulness and Mindful walking?
When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness can be described as the energy of being aware of what is going on in us and around us. When we live with mindfulness, we have the capacity to touch life deeply, whether we are talking, taking our cup of tea, or walking.
“I have arrived. I am home” – These two lines are the essence of the practice of mindfulness. It is the practice of dwelling happily in the present moment. We are no longer grasping at the future, regretting the past or being swept by our feelings of despair and anger. We have arrived at our true home, our true self, no longer seeking to be something else.
Whenever we are not standing, sitting or lying down, we are moving. We can learn to move and to walk with awareness. We do not need to rush. We have arrived with each step in the present moment. When we are walking from one side of the room to the other or from one building to another, we can be aware of the contact of our feet with the earth and of our in and out breath. As we breathe in we can say “in,” as we breathe out we can say “out” silently. We are aware that we are alive with each step, not carried away by our thoughts and emotions. We can train to practice walking meditation all day long. It is a wonderful practice which we can do anywhere and at any time; therefore, it has the capacity to transform our everyday life.
Wherever we walk, we can practice meditation. This means that we know that we are walking. We walk just for walking. We walk with freedom and solidity, no longer in a hurry. We are present with each step.
Walking in this way should not be a privilege. We should be able to do it in every moment. Look around and see how vast life is, the trees, the white clouds, the limitless sky. Listen to the birds. Feel the fresh breeze. Life is all around and we are alive and healthy and capable of walking in peace.
Let us walk as a free person and feel our steps get lighter. Let us enjoy every step we make. Each step is nourishing and healing. As we walk, imprint our gratitude and our love on the earth.
Here is a short video of a Mindfulness event held recently by one of our guides in Belfast City Hall attended by the Lord Mayor.
Stay in touch with all our upcoming free, guided, Mindful Walks in Belfast at our new meet-up group page.