Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of May 13, 2019

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Spiritual Walking


There is something wonderful about going for a walk, a wonder arising perhaps from deep in our genetic history. Beyond the health benefits, the most notable and obvious attractions of walking include the many joys of moving freely, being outside, breathing fresh air, and having our senses alive and engaged. Many people come to creative insights, or simply solutions to their life problems, while walking. In this inner work series, we will focus on the spiritual uses of walking, which thankfully do not preclude the other benefits.

Engaging in spiritual inner work while we walk is a tradition with a long history that attests to its power. Every major religion includes the practice of pilgrimage, travelling to sacred places. For this series we take the approach of working toward the sacred place within us, as we walk. Such practice can be surprisingly powerful, rivalling or even surpassing what happens on the meditation cushion. It has the great advantage of being out in the open, linking our deeper perceptions with the world around us, here and now. Walking in that way reconnects the sacred and the mundane, bringing the inner world and the outer world together in the one reality.

Spiritual walking, like seated meditation, can employ a range of inner exercises. But unlike seated meditation, spiritual walking embraces the vitality of movement and the rush of sensory impressions. Some types of walking inner work, like certain Buddhist walking meditation techniques, take the form of very slow steps, usually in very circumscribed spaces. That type of walking inner work comes close to being like seated meditation. However, in this series on spiritual walking, we will walk at our normal pace, in our normal environments, and in our normal manner, at least outwardly. As usual we notice when we are crossing a street and take appropriate care. We avoid bumping into things and people. We walk like we are simply going for a walk. But inwardly, we regulate our state in various ways, to help bring the spirit into life, into us, as we walk.

By way of introduction to this type of inner work, please try noticing the unnecessary tensions in your body as you walk. Notice the tensions and let them go. You might particularly note your shoulders and your facial muscles, and relax them. You do not need those tensions. Walking in this relaxed manner can be inwardly freeing, since the tensions are often related to some problematic thought stream or reactive emotions or attitudes polluting the center of our mindspace. Relaxing our body can help relax those thoughts and emotions and attitudes, restoring our freedom of movement and the openness of our senses.

In the coming weeks, we will engage in a series of approaches to spiritual walking. For this week, please begin with relaxed walking: not necessarily relaxed in the sense of a slow or ambling pace, but rather in the sense of noticing and releasing muscular tensions that do not support our walking motion.

    1. Walking In Our Body
    2. Walking In Wholeness
    3. Walking from Within
    4. Walking in Energy
    5. Walking in Consciousness
    6. Presence Body Walking
    7. Walking in Oneness


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