In the spring of 1996 our family journeyed to Salt Lake City, Utah as part of a family vacation and visit to a friend. While we were there I visited a bookstore which is one of my favorite things to do. In the bookstore I came upon a title “Living Buddha Living Christ.” Its author, Thich Nhat Hanh was someone I had never heard of. I picked up the book, began to read it and eventually bought it. Since that time I have purchased many of his books and enjoyed his writing. He was a friend of Thomas Merton who is another of my favorite authors.
I often think of Thich Nhat Hanh when I’m walking. Today was one of those days when I was really trying to walk more mindfully. I was praying a simple repetitive prayer as I walked. Many know it as the “Hail Mary.” It centers me and its mantric simplicity keeps me focused not on my thoughts but on its words and rhythm. While not living mindfully it is possible to ignore the miracle of life and think that miracles only happen to saints.
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Walking itself is a miracle as is all life. It’s easy to get sidetracked and scared by what’s happening around us everyday. But it can be changed by what we do. We are what we do each day, not what we think. Walking mindfully is my way to bring about change.