Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of:   March 26, 2001

Conscious Walking

To imbue our days with spiritual practice we address more of our life activities, incorporating them into the path, so that eventually our life is our spiritual path and our path is our life. We look first to activities we engage in often. Walking, a prime candidate, lends itself particularly well to the work of presence. Whether the occasion calls for a few steps or an hourís hike, we can open ourselves to practicing presence in walking, in the walking that we do in our normal daily routine.

Our base method consists of direct perceptual contact with our body, being fully in our body, aware of our physical sensations whenever we walk. We begin with the feet, extend our attention and awareness to include more of our legs, and ultimately to the sensation of the whole of our body, as we walk. Walking with full awareness of our body offers us a new experience of wholeness and purpose: the wholeness and purpose of presence.

In walking we naturally scan the area in front of us with our eyes to avoid obstacles, adjust to the terrain, and stay directed toward our destination. All of this tends to take us ahead of our body rather than being in it. In the practice of conscious walking, we still pay attention to whatís before us, but seek to balance that with direct awareness of being in our body.

This week, as often as you can remember to do so, practice conscious walking by focusing attention on your body as you walk. This does not mean changing the outer physical manifestation of how you walk, but rather the inner experience of it. No one else would notice any difference whether you are walking consciously or not. But you will know and the inner difference can be striking indeed.


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