Published: 04/01/2010 - Updated: 09/24/2018
Author: K. Laura Garcés G2 Comments
Walking can be an exercise and become the daily routine. Or, on the other hand, can be an activity that will lead to the discovery of formidable and unfamiliar places. If your legs have just taken you to the store, work, school or the corner, then you have not discovered the true magic of this recreational activity known as walking. If you do not know how far the legs can really get, then these two parts have served only to go over superficial areas of life, you still have not sunk your footsteps in the unknown and beautiful deep, to which your legs are able to take.
We walk to the movies, friend's house, to take the bus. We walk most of the time on sidewalks and streets, between noise and buildings on the hardness of concrete and gray, flat pavement of the great wealthy cities. And then, at night, sometimes we get home tired, weary because we spent the day. And yet, before, the human being was less tired and walked longer distances: the river, lake, mountain, between the sounds of leaves that swayed the wind or the rustling of the grass when the foot plunges between perfumes, the fresh green grass. And it seemed that the more the men walked, the more they have force, strength, courage and health.
Your feet are on the side: your head is somewhere else
Currently, very few people walk, and often, when walking, one is everywhere except in your feet. So we walk, yes, but thinking about what you have to pay, address, compose, remembering, or thinking about the future and if we are together we talk about the movie on Sunday, what happened to someone, so and so, of everyday problems, dissociated completely from the time of our passage, as if somehow we do not want to see where we go.
Distracted in a series of ideas and thoughts that pass through our minds all velocities, we are like ghosts around people, cars, of what is crossing our walk. We do not want to see. Our heads and our feet are in two distinct worlds, far apart from each other: the footsteps of our thoughts go in one direction and our feet in another. Perhaps because there is nothing "to do." Nothing in our way that is inspiring, surprising, "nothing in our way that we connect with a "passion", with some adventure, something that refresh the soul and bath us spontaneity and enthusiasm.
Henry D. Thoreau, in his essay “The art of walking”, says: "The men return meekly to their homes at night, in the countryside, where they pursue the echoes of their homes and their life languishing because they breathe their own breath over and over again, morning and evening, their shadows travel farther than their daily steps. We should come home from afar, and find adventure and danger everyday: with new experience and character. "
The art of walking has been slowly sinking in the superficial lifestyle of the cities. One may no longer find "nothing to look at" because have lost the ability to "see." Look up for new things is responsibility of the walker. Upon seeing, the wayfarer finds something new in what he sees something that reconstructs and recreates walking. Walkers not only walk on the outside, but their steps are also inside, in a kind of inside walking.
The interior art of this hike is an adventure: it consists in a kind of interior wander combined with the steps in the legs, is a full contact with what is seen, which is to try to put attention on the present moment and go dropping sensations in the body as one step to another, let these feelings go build an inner landscape. The goal is not really one, it is not about getting somewhere or finding something in particular, it is to allow feeling what is being observed without stopping the excitement, taking a deeper and deeper contact with those things our way.
The ability to feel too much has been domesticated, the feeling usually goes "through the same streets" by the same "directions" and mechanism. We feel the same things at certain times. This domestication causes us to distance ourselves from our path, as we have learned to manage the feeling, rather than lead us through the forests, and we came back recreated with freshness and strength.
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The art of walking inside greatly diminished in the life of the man for this distance with nature, its spontaneity, liveliness and energy. Long walks were used to bathe the heart with pure water recreation, but are lost. Everything becomes trivial, superficial and cold when the walk of life is not accompanied with the passage of the heart, with all its strength and inspiration. This creates distance, coldness and emotional depression.
Somehow, Henry O. Thoreau came to understand the true essence of walking, and molded into small pieces a delightful walk in words about the essence of good walker, his book, his essay, is quite a ride, intuitive steps takes us to enjoy a rich reading, wild and recreation, if you like to know more about what it really means to walk, and want to walk to places that are beyond your feet.
About the author
Walking can be quite a experience when you do it with a good attitude and trying to find something new, I have always tried to look up for new places, when I went to college, I went through different roads and paths to look up for new things or just to think while walking, and that was an amazing exercise, you should try it!
I took a mindfulness meditation class during which we practiced mindful walking. It was quite difficult, as walking is so routinely done mindlessly, as a means to arrive at point B from A. So little to we focus on our steps…and if we were to cultivate this mindfulness, we would begin to see the effects of this in other areas of our life as well.