The Silent Walk
3 years ago
Walking in silence (described here) is a most peculiar affair. As I practice this technique my proficiency increases. As my proficiency increases, I find unusual states of attention developing.
First, as I become silent, it is almost like it is not me. The part that I call 'me' wants to think. This silent place does not seem at all like me, like myself. It seems strangely impersonal.
Second, as I become quieter, I find I am more deeply connected with the world around me. The distinction between me and the world becomes diffuse. This increases the impersonal feeling that I mentioned above.
The impersonal feeling is not cold or hostile, as you might imagine. It is just not a feeling of 'me', the same old familiar 'me' that I know. Part of the silence in fact is an absence of feelings.
The silent walking technique is certainly connected to gazing at leaves. I find that the two techniques complement each other, and regular practice is essential if you want to be proficient in them.
Oddly and interestingly, I find that it is difficult to maintain. It is as if after a while, my power wanes and I cannot keep my attention focused on the environment around me. Then my attention seems to falter and get focused on some details or a thought or something similar.