Day 12: Moonwalking and Sunwalking

Oh great. Today we get to try these two things. Looking over Roderick’s descriptions, I now realize that it might be more ideal to create a largish circle in a backyard or something to do these. Something level where you just walk and walk and walk and don’t have to worry about dodging a car or tripping over a branch or something.

It took me a good long while to find a suitable place, but my yard actually has one. In the far back left corner of the lot. I’ll have to dodge a tree branch, but it’s the best I can do. So that’s where I’ll do the moonwaking exercise later today. For the sunwalking…well, there’s a quiet neighborhood behind me. That’ll have to do.

Exercise: Sunwalking

To begin, find a place where you can be undisturbed for 20 minutes. As with moonwalking, you can practice sunwalking either indoors or in some natural setting. Try this exercise during the day, under the influence of the sun.

Because you will cover more ground in 20 minutes of meditation, it is important to find either a long, level stretch of walking area, or to mark out a mediatational walking circle. If you choose to practice sunwalking in a circle, mark out a nine-foot diameter space, using a 4 1/2 foot length of cord to demarcate the circumference. Indicate your circular path with stones, candles, seashells or some other aesthetically pleasing and spiritually awakening items.

As in your moonwalking exercise, begin by standing straight with your feet together. Hold your head erect and lower your gaze so that you are looking down a about a 45-degree angle. Place your right hand over your left so that your knuckles overlap and align as they rest on your abdomen.

Allow your breathing to be natural and rhythmic. Turn your attention to the weight of your body. Feel the pull of gravity and where your body supports itself. Wherever you sense tension, release it by taking a deep breath and imagining the muscles relaxing as you exhale.

Begin to walk forward, stepping first with your right foot. Establish a brisk, but relaxed base, try not to change it. Focus your attention now on your steps. Count each step as you move forward, counting from one to ten. If you catch yourself thinking, start the count again from the number one and continue the count in rounds of ten. Do not disrupt your stepping forward when you renew the count.

Who’s out of shape? Me! Me! Seriously. Turns out that the neighborhood behind me makes a near perfect 20 minute walk if I sustain a brisk pace. That is very good to know. What is also good to know is that I worked up a nice little sweat walking in 90ºF heat for 20 minutes. Seriously. Whether or not I decide this is a worthwhile meditation technique, it is apparent that I will have to incorporate this 20 minute walk into my routine.

It’s weird. Now my right knee is a little stiff, but the rest of me feels pretty darn good. Except for the fact I’m still sweating and had to get a large glass of ice water (also probably not a bad thing), I feel better than I have in a week. Walking is good.

Now, to evaluate the meditative side. To be honest, I was more concerned with maintaining an brisk, even pace. I did count my steps, but was a little too aware of my surroundings to fully say I was in a meditative mind frame. There were neighbors about, and I had to often wave and say hello. Similarly, I did not keep my hands together and in front of me as I walked. I would have looked ridiculous.

I do think that ‘Sunwalking’ has merit as a meditative path. I can see how one could get into the athletic white zone through moderate cardiac exercise. I need more practice to get to that point…but I can see it.

Exercise: Moonwalking

For this exercise, find a place where you can be undisturbed for up to 20 minutes. You can practice moonwalking either indoors or outdoors in some natural setting. The best time to practice moonwalking is at night, under the energetic influences of the moon.

To begin, stand straight, feet together. While holding your head straight, squarely above your shoulders, lower your gaze so that you are looking down at about a 45-degree angle. Place your left hand on your abdomen, just above the navel. Place the right hand over the left so that your knuckles overlap and align. This hand posture is one that represents (and evokes) containment and protection.

Allow your breathing to be natural and rhythmic. Turn your attention to the weight of your body. Feel the pull of gravity and where your body supports itself. Wherever you sense tension, release it by taking a deep breath and imagining the muscles relaxing as you exhale.

Step forward with your left food about half the length of your right foot. Feel the weight of your body shift as you step forward. Breathe naturally, but wait for at least three exhalations before you step forward with your right foot. Focus your attention now on your steps. Count each step as you moonwalk forward, counting from one to ten. If you catch yourself thinking, start counting again from number one. Try not to allow counting to disrupt your stepping forward.

This was dumb, and I felt dumber. Soooo freakin’ slow and unnatural. And I got hella bit up by mosquitoes in the whole 6 minutes I was out doors. There was no meditative mindset. I sincerely doubt I could cultivate this style into something that works for me.

The full moon sure was pretty over the pine trees in the backyard, though.

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