S: Is walking part of your practice?
K: I’m doan, so Saturday is when I do kinhin. But I also walk every morning with my neighbor. My father said you should never have a walking partner because that ties you down. But he must have done his way of contemplation when he walked. He walked maybe 3 hours a day.
S: Wow! That’s a lot.
K: He would meet people he knew and he would talk to them, and then he would continue with his walking. It was a private thing for him. Even though he walked in a little town, on the coast.
S: In sesshins when I had problems with my back, my teacher would have me go out and walk on a walkway. He said it’s not to be looking at the flowers, just be aware of your walking. It was a pretty rapid pace and the walkway was real rough, so you had to be careful or you’d end up with a splinter in your toe. That consolidated walking in me. Sometimes when I’m walking, I feel like I’m going to the same place as when I was walking in the garden up there.
That kind of walking, it’s not, now my heel is doing this and my arch is doing this and the ball of my foot is doing this, it’s not that kind of close concentration, but it’s being present when I walk.
K: This last weekend I was doing a sesshin with some prisoners in Bastrop, and I told them Reb Anderson’s comment about walking, “You should walk on the earth as if it were your mother’s face.” Then I looked at them and I said, “That’s assuming you like your mother.”
When we started walking, there was a Christian class next door and the guy was telling how everything you needed to know about life was in the Bible, and you could hear every word he was saying. I wanted them to be able to concentrate more on their walking, so I told them that they should create a mantra for each step. I said that for the left foot it could be “Now I step on the earth.” And for the right it could be “Now I step on the sky.” Now I step on the earth. Now I step on the sky. I tried that a couple of hours ago on the sidewalk, and I noticed that the sky step was a lot lighter than the earth step.
About Kim Mosley | Sarah Webb