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meditation Misadventures of a Monk Motivational Mini Stories

Walking for Peace and Non violence in every aspect of our lives.

Myself, Dhamma Tāpasā, and my mischievous adopted dog, Marley Moo, have spent the winter months on a large farm near Sagres in Portugal. We have been content to pass the worst of the weather out of the way before we move onwards again, and now that spring is right around the corner we are almost ready to embark on our continuous journey once more.

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Dhamma Tāpasā quote

Myself, a trained Buddhist Monk, and Marley Moo (an honouree Monk) continuously travel as peace pilgrims devoted to promoting the art of diplomacy, peace and non violence throughout every aspect of our lives. Together we teach, speak and write Moral stories on mindfulness, meditation and the prisons we create within our own minds. We teach meditation and mindfulness as a way of understanding and changing our thought patterns to create inner peace and non violence within our own lives. Everything we speak, write or teach is given completely Free of charge and made available to all who seek.

We have spent the last few years living the ever popular Vanlife movement, this was a necessary move after continuous encounters with wild boar (wild pigs) in the forests and woodlands of Northern Europe while walking, Our time living the vanlife has been ideal for cultivating the seclusion and tranquility needed to deepen my meditation practice but it is almost at an end, and after spending the present winter months contently passing the bad weather away in one fixed location, the wandering lifestyle and the continued generosity we encounter along the way is once again calling.

We are starting to gather the required items together to begin again our slow paced continuous walk. We are looking to acquire a bike trailer/stroller to place our limited possessions, a decent pop up tent, as our last one has broken, a small solar panel to keep recharged our internet connection a reflective jacket for Marley and a head torch, which we believe come to total of around 250Euro. Once our required items have been collected together we shall begin our walk.

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Dhamma Tāpasā & Marley Moo

As a Monk and Peace Pilgrim i live with no monetary income and instead rely totally on the wonderful generosity, kindness and support from complete strangers along our way. This doesn’t mean we beg, or hassle people, far from it, to ask anyone for anything causes an imposition for people, especially someone who is kind natured and finds it hard to say no. Therefore we only except what is freely given. The staggering amount of good will, compassion and kindness we find on our journey never ceases to amaze me, this is the beauty and compassion of humanity in action. Some days we receive money or food (monetary donations always go towards Marley Moo’s food, I choose this life he just chose me) other days we simple fast. Some days we receive shelter to sleep, other days we will pull out the tent. Some days we teach meditation other days we will meditate on our own. Each and every day will always be filled with surprises and delights from letting go, making every encounter, a bird, the landscape, fellow walkers, a truly special and unique moment.

As we begin to start walking, myself and Marley have a loose plan and direction, at first we will be spending time walking Portugal’s inner Algarve from Sagres to Alcoutim, following the Via Algarviana long distance footpath for around 300km. After this we will start to walk back along to the coastal areas of the Algarve to meet up with my parents, and my brother & his wife from Malaysia for a family reunion and a week too ten days relaxation. Then we shall work our way slowly north zig zagging through Portugal towards Galicia and Spain.

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Marley Moo

If you would like to meet with Marley or myself, maybe for a few hours walking or a chance to meditate With us, then the above itinerary gives a rough idea which direction we shall be walking. As soon as we start walking we shall be posting far more frequently on our Instagram account and this will also guide you to our location. We hope to be walking before March 10th. It would be a pleasure to meet with any of you.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā

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meditation

Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is one of the nicest ways to meditate, the body naturally walks and to experience being both aware of the body’s movements at the same time as being present in the immediate environment can keep us centred and relaxed. The recommended setup for walking meditation is a level, straight path of 20-30 paces, free from debris and somewhere quiet and secluded. The practice is to walk from one end to the other being mindful of each movement, when you reach the end you stand still for a few moments, turn and repeat the exercise to the other end. Walk at a pace that feels comfortable for you, this could be a calm or composed walk or a walk with ease or vigour, feel what is comfortable and as your mind settles your pace will slow accordingly.

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Walking meditation

Although many people may not have access to the the kind of level path that we recommend for walking meditation, it is still advisable to cultivate this as best as possible within a room, in this instance circumnavigating the room either clockwise or anti-clockwise would be suitable. The ideal location would be a straight path of 20-30 paces in a forest, park, beach or grassland, somewhere you feel safe and secure. The attitude of mindfulness to walking doesn’t have to be confined to just your meditation sessions and once the methods explained hear have been practiced it is possible to be mindful while walking in busy streets or places where there is a lot of footfall. 

The first step begins with composing are attention while standing at one end of your chosen path. Bring your attention to your breath and become present in the moment, spend at least half a minute relaxing and watching the breath. Stand in such a way you can very clearly feel the soles of your feet spread over the ground and rooted to that particular point. Breathing in be aware you are breathing in. Breathing out be aware you are breathing out. Once your calm and you feeling more relaxed and centred, slowly begin, first by gently raising your foot from the ground.

Raising one of your feet try to walk as slowly as you can but at your own body’s comfort. I want you to really feel each and every movement, explore the sensations in your body. Explore the tensing and relaxing of each muscle as it’s being used. Keep everything simple, walk from one end to the other, keeping in touch with your body sensations. 
The minds tendency may be to go into thinking or to get involved with what you see, in either case be gentle and kind towards yourself and bring the attention back to the body as you move each muscle.

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Walking Meditation infographic

When you are walking you can gather your arms either behind your back or in front of you, gently resting the palm of your hand on the opposite wrist. Recognise the repetitive pattern that goes with walking, feel the sensations as your feet press into the soil, then feel the release of pressure as you raise that foot again. Feel the sensations in your hips and lower back, feel each muscle tense as it moves when required, then relax when not.

Walking mindfully slows the minds rhythm, eventually settling into the physical sensations, the mind becomes calmer and clear. This calmness brings with it a regenerative energy that makes walking meditation feel tireless.

The difficulties that can arise form walking meditation can be a general agitation as the minds wanderings are bought into check and back to the exercise, typical with all meditation. If you feel this agitation start to build, pause and take some deep breaths, always be kind towards yourself, don’t scold, breathing in be aware your breathing in, breathing out be aware your breathing out. Do this for a few moments then resume. You may find yourself standing at one end of your chosen path and go stomping up the other end with little or no regard to mindfulness, or the practice at hand. Once again pause, long deep breaths and return to breathing in and breathing out, after a few moments, feel yourself relax, and start again. 

Walking meditation is a simple and beautiful meditation that is very easy to pick up and understand, it has the ability to centre us and keep us focused and relaxed. You can do this meditation for as little as ten minutes and feel the benefits, it is best to try and build on that and work up to half and hour and maybe even an hour.