Jack Kornfield describes meditation as a deep listening with the body, heart and mind to find graciousness, wisdom and ease amidst all the change around us. We can invite a sense of calm and steadiness with each breath. We can become the loving awareness that is tuning into our heart and listens deeply.
This practice inspired by Jack Kornfield is an invitation to become “the One who Knows” as the Thai Buddhist monk Ajahn Chah called it, the natural open awareness that knows and holds everything. We become the witness to all our experiences.
“Many of the great sorrows of the world arise when the mind is disconnected from the heart. In meditation, we can reconnect with our heart and discover an inner sense of spaciousness, unity, and compassion underneath all the conflicts of thought. The heart allows for the stories and ideas, fantasies and fears of the mind without believing in them, without having to follow them or to fulfill them. When we touch beneath all the busyness of thought, we discover a sweet, healing silence, an inherent peacefulness in each of us, a goodness of heart, strength and wholeness that is our birthright.” – Jack Kornfield
Take the time to pause and appreciate the gifts of each moment. Simply sitting and knowing that you are sitting, taking in the simple gift of being held by your seat.
When we sit down to meditate, we start by bringing a healing attention to the body, and then naturally the heart presents itself for healing. All sorts of emotions will arise. Emotions and feelings that we might have not allowed ourselves to feel fully and acknowledge will present themselves.
As we bring a healing attention to the places of tension and pain in our body, we can bring the same kind and healing attention to our heart, to listen deeply to our buried emotional pain and sorrows.
We can practice awareness of body sensations in a less systematic way than in the body scan. After the short walking meditation to connect with the body, and then sitting and resting in the breath for a moment, we expand the field of our awareness to include all the sensations in the body.
This teaching builds on the teaching on mindfulness of the body, to explore how we can become mindful of the sensations that arise during our practice. As we sit still the body begins to open, and as it opens what we feel are often the things that the busyness of our life has kept us from noticing.
In this short practice, you are invited to check in with yourself, and say yes to the life that’s here, in this moment.
Walking meditation can be a formal practice, like watching the breath. It gives us an opportunity to gather our awareness and to guide ourselves out of the distracted autopilot we live in throughout so much of our day.
Walking meditation is one of the most powerful and helpful and important parts of mindfulness training. It’s not a second class practice. Walking meditation balances our energy and can bring many deep insights and understandings. Try it!