walking mindfully


I have to be aware of my walking. If I don’t, I will hurt the left foot and everything connected up till the knee. Sitting on a chair also needs to be done in a mindful way. The left leg has to really be in a position of complete perpendicular support. Even sleeping has to be done in a correct position without any tension.

I slowed down since Tuesday 19th November. Before that I had to keep running for trains at Brussels North Junction and other stations. If you need a connection two minutes after arrival, life is running for trains. The running might still be a little OK, but running up stairs is too hard on those ligaments that are, now already close to half a century, carrying Whoisbert.

It started one month earlier when mowing the lawn at my father’s with a defective machine. Pushing too hard for just 30 minutes, after the belt of the self-propeller (do you call it like that) gave up. And after this mowing, never minding the small pain.

Now I do.

The alarm system in my foot and leg went to orange after just one day of running after trains, in week 46. I took medication, but stopped one day after my work-order in Antwerp’s city center ended. Just to feel my foot’s condition, in stead of blinding my brain for the pain. And yes, after just two days of rest the pain subsided.

If I walk mindfully, all the time, especially when doing stairs, there is no pain at all.
Not doing too much mileage and keeping warm is another requirement.

And this I will do,
walking mindfully,
watching every step,
at least for some time.

Pain corrects forgetting the habit of mindfulness yet to be learned.
Until of course, that pain will be gone.
But hopefully, the habit will remain,
and I will unconsciously,
continue to walk the ‘new’ walk.

Perhaps the same way, we can create a habit of watching our anger and its source before reacting. Unfortunately, there is no pain when angry when not being mindful. On the contrary, the mind often feels like rewarded for acting out. A shot of energy and adrenaline.

So this mindfulness has to be learned the long way. By retrospection, in the beginning, and always coming closer to detecting the buttons being pushed, when they are pushed, even before, and not 1 hour later.

It works, but it is a long walk
from feeling rewarded for acting
to feeling proud of seeing the buttons being pushed.

…  and freezing that moment
and feeling the energy subside without effort
sometimes even feeling laughter inside
(but not showing that 🙂 it might be incorrectly seen as a provocation)

… then not feeling proud anymore but satisfied that the mental image of self gets less and less power over whoever-i-am.

That person walking on earth who forgot to pretend to be a separate entity, ceasing sometimes to limit himself to this limited mental consciousness.

Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) November 2013 – @home – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG4880


24 thoughts on “walking mindfully

  1. Your last sentence is so much useful like a lighthouse for disoriented or lost minds.
    So, combining this to ”back to basics” I can assure you that 🙂
    Wishing you all the best, Periklis

      • Wonderful. Thanks for this suggestion. What amazes me the most is to meet people who feel both the presence of ”larger Self” and its efforts to be in tune with a consciousness that exceeds ours. Do I have to decide for this or is it a matter of self awareness ? 😉 What remains still unclear to me is if this ”feeling” is another one -not widespread- trick of my mind’s.

        • Well, that’s the entire problem with ‘awareness’. Awareness is often nothing more than meta-cognition: a task-manager that you identify with at that moment. Yes that is special in its own way, because you become more conscious of your inner processes. I think that my first real meditation trials worked like this.
          Awareness is supposed to get rid of the identification all together. Except that so many identify with awareness, which is indeed the mind fooling itself.
          If I get rid of identification, something that happened a few times in February (I don’t know why and how) I felt the deep laughter inside my being. The thing is not to desire the past experience but to be ready for whatever comes.
          But its complicated, because when the mind is in the flow, like writing an article, it only identifies with the writing, is in the moment. And everyone on earth should feel this way when doing something they really like. That’s a start.
          Silence, awe and inspiration is another corner stone. I can only try to give seconds of silence when showing my macro-photography to the world. If that awe is unconsciously frozen, the connection with something larger is felt. You cannot consciously freeze that moment. You cannot do anything to have the experience, except being open … I don’t know much more than this, except that when we are in this phase, knowledge becomes a hindrance.

          • Yes, your photos DO convey awe. I often think of what you have said about awe as I am in nature looking for a trigger for awe, or perhaps put more eloquently, making myself open to the grace of inspiration.

            • A tree, different light or its absence, .. anything extraordinary is waiting when we are open for it. And that openness, combined with the trigger of inspiration, invites the Silence, for a moment, and sometimes a little longer …

    • Thank you for these kind and heartfelt wishes.
      It’s getting a whole lot better after one week of mindful walking … and breathing. Only have to pay attention to torsion. And I notice how I have to correct my pace, to slow it down, regularly, since the correcting pain is almost gone.

  2. Oh, the laughter. After I’ve observed the anger & let it go, only to be replaced by bubbling laughter at the absurdity of ego. That has gotten me into trouble, too. 🙂

    • How real is an ego that wants to always be in the forefront … how relative is the anger after we recognize it as such. Why don’t we always recognize this? And why is this absurdity of anger met with so much laughter? Is laughter our deepest nature?

      • No more real than the threats of a child begging for attention…and the anger becomes irrelevant. A mere by-product if my (ego’s) expectations and attachments.

        I don’t know why we don’t always recognize this. Perhaps because we’re still attached to a certain outcome? I do X & should receive Y…

        I laugh because I no longer feel attached to any particular outcome & see the absurdity of anger & conflict for what it is: wasteful, stupid & ultimately, inconsequential.

        Laughter…our most deepest nature?…in a way, a most resounding and contented “YES!” In that moment, it is the quickest way to realign with purpose & mindfulness. It’s only a shame we cannot bring our fellow combatants along with us in that moment 🙂

        • “I don’t know why we don’t always recognize this.”
          It’s about being caught up in the story that’s going on inside our mind, I think. Our conventions and principles take over. Principles can start a war.

          Our mental mind takes over our being, and we get caught in its prison the day we let ourselves be identified with it. Being mindful is a step out of that prison, but in the beginning the prison itself feels more safe than the real world outside … (perhaps?)

          The other prisoners often don’t want to escape. They don’t even know there is a door, even less a key.
          Give them this key and they will worship it 🙂

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