The other day Mark Hatmaker wrote an excellent piece about natural movement. He explores the benefits of moving with fluidity and the negative consequences of moving herky-jerky. Read it here.
It strikes me that his take is the western perspective on the eastern form of walking contemplation I have been doing for years as follows:
- Empty your mind of language. Speak nor think any words.
- If words come to mind, let them fade naturally like receding echoes. Fight them and they’ll only multiply.
- Just walk as efficiently, smoothly, and naturally as possible — that’s it.
- Be relaxed, alive and present. Smell flowers, turn your head and eyes to follow things of interest. Walk with natural, adaptive efficiency, not the efficiency of a robot.
This exercise, like the one Mark describes, is very simple — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
As it happens, just walking like a human being is a very difficult thing to do.