• Foreword by Victor Sanchez, author of The Teachings of Don Carlos.
• Includes 45 walking techniques that were developed from the author's work with Huichol Indians of western Mexico.
• Explores the power of moving meditation for achieving new levels of spiritual awareness through connecting with elements of the natural world.
• Includes group and individual exercises.
In Earthwalks for Body and Spirit, a workbook of 45 simple walking exercises, author and workshop leader James Endredy shows us how the act of walking can be a catalyst for personal transformation by teaching us to develop our attention, quiet the mind, expand our consciousness, and rediscover our sacred relationship with Earth. Each of the exercises, many of which are based on the author's work with the traditional indigenous practices of the Huichol Indians of western Mexico, offers step-by-step instructions and comments that will help you to gain the most from the walk. Additionally, the author focuses each group of exercises on a different aspect of transformation?there are walks of attention and awareness; group connection; connection to the nierikas (powers) of Sun, Water, Wind, Fire, and Mother Earth; connection to the energies of animals, trees, and places of power; and finally, as a way of honoring both your new understanding of Self and your deepened relationship with Earth, walks of offering and vision.
From Chapter 28
The nierika of Water expresses fluidity as it runs through the riverbeds flowing around and over obstacles, by the endless chant of the river and the incessant waves of the Sea. In the case of human beings, fluidity expresses as the possibility of facing in an efficient way, the complex situations that life puts in front of us. In order to act with fluidity in our everyday life, it is necessary that our ego loosens its rigidity so that we are able to use all of our resources.
This Earthwalk leads you to move with Water's physical fluidity, but also with an internal fluidity of attitude and feeling inspired by her. By emulating the flowing nature of Water we come upon much less resistance as we travel through life. Making our path one of least resistance does not imply timidity or a propensity for avoiding work or obstacles. On the contrary, it suggests that, like water, we are able to flow on our appointed path--which may mean over, under, around or through the many obstacles that cross it.
Instructions for the Practice
1. To begin this practice, find a place where you can walk next to a river, stream, or lake. The size of the water is not as important as its flow--water that is flowing is best.
2. Locate yourself close to the water (at a safe distance, if it is dangerously deep or fast-moving) and close your eyes. Listen for a few minutes to the endless chant of Water, singing the song of fluidity that is unique to that particular place.
3. Open your eyes and watch Water flowing and expressing her fluidity. Let your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions rise to the surface and be carried away with the current. At the same time, feel the magic of Water flowing through your veins in the form of your life blood--you and Water are the same.
4. Stay with this feeling for a few minutes and then begin to walk in a way that carries the fluidity of Water with you. At the same moment you begin to walk, repeat the word fluidity to yourself as you use your body to express the feeling of the word as it lives inside you. Your steps are sure but light as you float over and around obstacles in your path. Listen to the music of Water as her flowing caresses your soul. You and she are one; you have joined with the nierika of Water, you express it in your motion.
5. Thoroughly explore your transformation for at least twenty minutes and then stop walking and stand close to the water again. This time, as you look into the Water nierika, see your life. See how you react when faced with obstacles, with fears, with your unfulfilled dreams. Take a few minutes and, in a detached manner, watch the events of your life as they are shown to you and be sure to notice how you have dealt with them.
6. Next, looking into the flowing Water, see yourself facing your obstacles with fluidity. Feel her giving you strength--use it to help you dream a more fluid way to handle these situations in your life. Watch yourself accomplishing your goals and facing your fears with grace and power.
7. Make a commitment to your desire to be a more fluid being: Call to mind a specific task that you can readily accomplish. State your commitment to Water out loud.
8. Last, give thanks to Water and, as you leave the area to walk back into your life, carry her gift of fluidity. Accomplish your commitment as a concrete act of connection to her.
Comments on the Practice
This walk can be used whenever you visit flowing water. Even though they are all connected through the cycles of tides and rain, each flowing river or stream and each body of water has specific and unique qualities to offer. Each has the power to share insights, knowledge and her own unique songs.
When using this technique be sure to listen with all your heart and being--Water's message may come as a song with words, or in a way that is completely new to you. On a cautionary note, please be careful when working with a large body of water--the strength of the nierika of Water can be overpowering, especially when your energy or mood is low. For the first few times, it is usually best to open up to her when she is in a very safe and peaceful form such as a natural spring or small brook or river. These places usually have an energy that is happy and light, unlike the ocean, which can be extremely powerful and somber.
A powerful technique for connecting with the flowing rivers of your body is to become conscious of your heartbeat--to actually feel the pumping of your heart as it sends your blood (which is 90 percent water) through your veins and arteries. While listening to the beat of your heart is a wonderful way to become deeply centered and still, it also works to help you develop fluidity in your thoughts and motion.
*Manolo Cetina, from a presentation in his workshop, "The Jump to the Other Self," Ajusco, Mexico, 1997.
I. Earthwalks: What, Why, and How
The Endless School
Walking to Better Health
Walking in Nature
Connecting or Conquering?
What Are Earthwalks?
How to Use This Book
Learning How To Walk
Creating a Sacred Space
II. Walks of Attention
The Fox Stance
1. Walk of Attention
2. Walk of Balance
3. Walk of Equilibrium
4. Barefoot Walk
5. A Child's Eyes
6. Count Three
7. Count Three Variation
8. Walk of Silence
9. Night Vision
10. Walking Backward
11. Hat with Mirrors
12. Five Steps
13. Shadow World
14. Into the Unknown
15. The Beacon
16. Embracing the Darkness
17. Predator and Prey
18. Cure for Loneliness
III. Walks for Groups
19. Walking as One
20. One Body
IV. Walks of Connection to the Powers of Earth
24. Changing Direction
29. Still Motion
31. Connect to the Universe
33. Love Healing
35. Developing Reciprocity
V. Walks of Connection to Animals, Trees, and Places of Power
39. Below and Above
Places of Power
VI. Walks of Offering and Vision
43. Seasons of Change
44. Giving Back
45. Walk for Vision