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Walking Meditation    by Nguyen Anh-Huong & Thich Nhat Hanh order for
Walking Meditation
by Nguyen Anh-Huong
Order:  USA  Can
Sounds True, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This small hardcover book on Walking Meditation comes with an Instructional DVD (showing Zen master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh teaching a group of students in California) and 5 Guided Meditations on CD, led by Nguyen Anh-Huong. The booklet opens on Thich Nhat Hanh's lovely poem that includes: 'We will enjoy our walk / without thinking of arriving anywhere ... Kiss the Earth with your feet. / Print on Earth your love and happiness. / Earth will be safe / When we feel in us enough safety.'

The Introduction reminds us that in the chaos of daily life, 'we tend to lose touch with the peace and joy that are available each moment', and encourages the practice of walking meditation to 'bring us back to being fully present and alive with every step'. Chapters address: Conscious Breathing Meditation; Slow Walking Meditation; Walking Meditation in Nature; Walking Meditation in Public Places; Walking Meditation to Embrace Your Emotions; and Going Further (dealing with pain and discomfort, mindful jogging, walking with children etc.). The book suggests when to watch the DVD and listen to CD tracks. It ends with a Final Blessing, whose last words are, 'May flowers bloom beneath your feet.'

We are told that the objective of the training program is to practice to the point that 'Each time you walk, it will be a walking meditation.' The explanation of the purpose of meditation in this little book spoke to me more clearly than any has before - 'To meditate is to learn how to stop - to stop being carried away by our regrets about the past, our anger or despair in the present, or our worries about the future.' We are reminded to practice smiling while walking - to 'bring calm and delight to your steps and your breath, and help sustain your attention.' In dealing with emotions, we're told the intent is to learn to accept emotions and pain, rather than to eradicate them.

In the DVD, Thich Nhat Hanh shares his belief that mindful living can lead to profound cultural revolution, and encourages us to stop running and enjoy every step of life. He talks of how he faced a severe crisis - when helping boat people - via walking meditation, and compares our planet to a small boat in perilous waters, that requires all of our help. Use this impressive book/CD/DVD instructional set to walk more happiness into your own life, or give it as a gift to someone for whom you wish peace, joy and serenity.

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