Walking with ease and with peace of mind on the earth is a wonderful miracle. Some people say that only walking on burning coals or walking on spikes or on water are miracles, but I find that simply walking on the earth is a miracle. Neige Marchand, when translating The Miracle of Mindfulness into French, entitled the book La Miracle, C’est de Marcher sur Terre. I like that title very much.
Imagine that you and I were two astronauts. We have landed on the moon, and we find that we cannot return to earth because the engine of our ship is broken beyond repair. We will run out of oxygen before the control center on earth can send another ship up to rescue us. We know that we have only two more days to live. What would you and I think of, other than going back to our dear green planet and walking side by side, in peace and without worries? Only when confronted with death do we know the precious value of our steps on the green planet.
Now let’s imagine ourselves as those astronauts who have somehow survived their experience. Let’s celebrate our happiness and our joy at being able to walk on our dear earth again. We manifest this miracle in each of our steps. Lotus flowers bloom as we walk.
Maintain your practice, aware that your steps are creating miracles. The earth appears before your eyes as something miraculous. With that correct understanding, with that meditative thought, you will achieve blissful steps on this planet earth.
Stand on one foot, and be aware that it is resting upon the earth; see the great sphere upon which it rests. See it clearly – how wonderfully round it is. While walking, look down and anticipate the ground where you are about to place your foot, and when you do, mindfully experience your foot, the ground, and the connection between your foot and the ground. Think of your foot as an Emperor’s seal.
In the meditation hall, while doing kinhin (walking meditation) remember ‘The Emperor’s Seal’, or ‘Lotus flowers blooming’, or ‘The earth appears’ as themes of your walking meditation.
From “A Guide to Walking Meditation”, by Thich Nhat Hahn