Mindful Walking with Energy’s Way

I love to walk. My wife and I have trekked hundreds of miles on gorgeous trails in New Zealand, Patagonia, Iceland, our National Parks and many more. For the last 10 years, we have started out almost every day with a three mile walk with our dog. It was a matter of necessity at first — no walk, no peace from the dog. Now he just sleeps all day waiting for the next walk.

Title: Steam rising through the trees at Geyser Creek | Author: NPS / Jacob W. Frank | Source: Yellowstone National Park | License: CC0
Title: Steam rising through the trees at Geyser Creek | Author: NPS / Jacob W. Frank | Source: Yellowstone National Park

Over the past few years, I have found that mindful walking has added an entirely new dimension to my hikes.

I have been applying the first three steps of Energy’s Way to become more mindful: Turn, Tune, and Read. My Vietnam buddy and founder of Energy’s Way, Artie Egendorf, has been teaching me all 12 steps over the past four years. Mindful walking is simply one of endless applications of Energy’s Way, and the first three steps are only the beginning of a powerful set of practices. This poem reflects my experience of mindful walking using Energy’s Way.

Title: Topographic Origami | Author: fdecomite | Source: fdecomite | License: CC BY 2.0
Title: Topographic Origami | Author: fdecomite | Source: fdecomite | License: CC BY
As I begin my meditative march,
I turn to my purpose and accompanying presence
I turn toward my destination but stay alert and sensitive to the moment:
A bird chirps, the wind whistles, a squirrel scrambles up the tree
I turn left and right to survey my surroundings
I turn up and down to check the ground and observe the sky
As I move forward, I slightly and subtly turn my nose toward each foot as it extends
I feel the gentle rhythm of that turning

I tune into my environment and my body
I sense each foot touch the earth
I experience the energy moving up my legs
I feel my hips gently swiveling as I walk the path
I am aware of my arms swinging freely
My elbows, wrists, and fingers are loose
I notice my whole body is making figure 8’s
I observe any points of tension throughout my body
I let them go
I have a sense of gratitude and grace
My efforts become more effortless

I read what’s going on inside and around me
I am focused more on flow than form
I feel more tingling than tension
I experience more rhythm than routine
I sense how much I’m forcing and how I am freeing
I welcome the energy that fuels my pace
I appreciate the freshness and newness of each step
It feels more like a dance than a march
(Left: Looking down on St Bees beach | Author: Andrew Bowden | Source: bods | License: CC BY-SA 2.0) (Right: Title: St Bees (day 1) | Author: Sue Asbury | Source: suerogers | License: CC BY 2.0)
St Bees (day 1) | Author: Sue Asbury | Source: suerogers | License: CC BY

My wife and I just completed the walk across England. We walked 10 miles each day through mountains, beside streams, across Moors, and along the North Sea. We picked up a rock on St. Bees beach and dropped it off in Robin Hood’s Bay. Each day I would walk ahead of the group practicing mindful walking — turning, tuning, and reading each moment. I would figure 8 my way along the path dancing up the trails and feeling the energy energizing my every move. When I would get too far ahead of the group, I would stop at points to sit and reflect on the experience and the present moment — taking in the incredibly stunning scenery. It was bliss.

Author: George Hodan | Liense: CC0
Robin Hood’s Bay | Author: George Hodan

Now, while my dog is sleeping, I am trying to stay awake — more and more fully. I am trying to welcome each moment with gratitude — turning, tuning, and reading. Who knows what will happen as I apply the next 9 steps of Energy’s Way. Check it out.


Originally published at Perspectives & Possibilities.

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