from Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh

Walking Meditation

by Thich Nhat Hanh


Original Language English

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.

Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.



(I found this at Poetry Chaikhana, a website of sacred poetry)

from Kentucky Life Program 1022 (2004) | Labyrinths of Kentucky | KET Video

from Kentucky Life Program 1022 (2004) | Labyrinths of Kentucky | KET Video

A tour of seven labyrinths around Kentucky, featuring scenes of designer Robert Ferré and his crew constructing the Pathway of Peace in Danville. Though made from a wide variety of materials and laid out in differing patterns, these examples all share a central purpose of calming and focusing the mind. Segment narrated by series host Dave Shuffett.

Length: 00:18:29

Labyrinths I have walked

The first labyrinth I ever walked was a 3/4 size Chartres replica on canvas.

Chartres

It has eleven circuits.

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The second was a Cretan labyrinth at a women’s retreat center outside of Asheville, NC

Cretan

It has seven circuits.

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I walked a Santa Rosa labyrinth at a nursery in Michigan after I had nearly decided that was the design I wanted to use for the labyrinth I wanted to put in my yard. It was made of 586 lavender plants and cinched the deal. I bought a gazing ball from them to put in the heart space of labyrinth that I was planning.

I like the heart space and that you approach it twice when you go in and twice when you go out. I like the number 7 because it is 4 plus 3 and those are significant numbers in different mythologies. I like that it is symmetrical.

My discovery of labyrinths

I used to be Episcopalian. And when I was, one of the churches I went to was the Church of the Holy Comforter in Burlington, NC. And I got suckered into being a member of the Adult Christian Education Committee. I’ve forgotten how that happened. But one of the things that was coming up was a labyrinth.

They (we) borrowed it from Holy Trinity in Greensboro. And the committee was responsible for tending to it.

I volunteered to take a day of personal leave from work to be there during the day on Friday. I had the time available and I was moved to do it. It was very similar to being moved to speak in Meeting with I was Quaker. It was the right thing to do at that time and I couldn’t choose any other way.

There were candles to keep lit and fountains to keep watered and CDs to keep playing. We had a blank book for people to write thoughts in as they finished with colored pencils and markers, should they need them. There was a bowl of stones for worrying as one walked. There were benches inside the door for taking off shoes, or meditating before or after starting.

People came and went all day as I sat at the entrance and tended to the bits and pieces.

Sometimes, they would walk alone. Sometimes, they found themselves walking together, stepping aside to let others pass. One man brought a book that he read at each turn.

I walked it by myself at the end of the day.

The Sunday after that weekend, we had a Sunday school class devoted to talking about the experience of walking the labyrinth. I was astounded to learn that some people got absolutely nothing from it. I had been moved, both by walking it and by tending it as others walked it. I recognize(d) that other people have different responses to things, but it amazed me that something that affected me so profoundly had not inspired a similar response in the Senior Warden.