‘Sovereign’ Haikus for Health

*Each day is a new beginning, embrace your sovereignty.

Haiku copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haikus for Health

Haiku copyright Francis Barker

*What is the nature of the mind? Can anyone really say? Yet we know a healthy mind goes a long way to maintaining a healthy body…

Haikus for Health No.5

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haikus for Health No.4

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haiku: Breathe

traquility
Photo by Mattia Faloretti

The figure of Buddha meditating is one of the most peaceful images of this world.

Haiku copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haiku: Reflection on Peace

water peace
Haiku and photo copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haiku: Peace At Heart

 

Untitled-1 (5)
Photo by Aleksandr Ledogorov

Haiku copyright Francis Barker 2020

never in your lifetime — jdubqca (reblog)

the great experiment proved to be nothing but a farce so many years & so many lies if you want to find the truth forget about dwelling on the past instead try looking inwards with ever greater speed & frequency history continues to be rewritten the most recent far from reality but rest assured eventually […]

via never in your lifetime — jdubqca

Haiku: Change the Narrative

happy young multiethnic baristas watching movie on laptop sitting on stairs during break
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

What is going on?
Give us a new narrative
A happy ending

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haibun: Unity

photo-of-people-holding-each-other-s-hands-3184423
Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Unity doesn’t mean we’re all the same.
Unity means acceptance and integrity.
Unity means honesty and truth.

We are not the same
We are sharing this same realm
We can get along

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Walking Meditation: Does it Work?

man-walking-near-body-of-water-1466852
Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels

Over the years I have read many accounts about doing walking meditation. Here is my own, which I sometimes carry out whilst walking alone.

Walking by its very nature can be rhythmic and relaxing. But is it possible to meditate at the same time?

Let’s be clear, one thing I have found is that a walking meditation is quite different from standard meditation. The latter requires you to sit comfortably and still the mind, to allow the excessive chatter of the left brain to dissipate and allow the more creative right brain to come into its own. You are allowing stillness and silence to enter your mind.

One of the best simple methods of standard meditation is to simply follow the breath, in and out, sensing the subtle changes of pressure on the nostrils. Your breathing will naturally slow down, your body will relax.

Whilst walking even at a relatively easy pace, depending on your level of fitness, your breathing will be deeper. Nevertheless, so long as you can maintain a steady pace, you can still concentrate on that breath.

My method is as follows:

  1. Allow at least half an hour for a walk. Forty five minutes is probably around the optimum time period.
  2. Pick a route you know, one you are either fond of, or find peaceful, or both. It doesn’t necessarily have to been in a quiet country setting or on a beach, for example. One can find solace even in a crowd if you control your breath and remain mindful.
  3. Set off at an easy pace, one you can maintain for the time period. Swing those arms gently too to maintain a rhythm in the walk.
  4. Set your eyes about eight to ten feet (three metres) ahead of you so you can see what’s ahead of you – intersperse this with occasional glances around so that you become aware of the environment you are in – obviously you do not want to walk into any one or any thing. This is not meant to be a day dream. Be careful. Accept everything around you as it is, don’t try to shut it out.
  5. After a minute or so, begin to focus on your breath, that sense of pressure in and out of your nostrils, the rise and fall of your chest.
  6. Now, if you wish, after around five minutes, you can then introduce calming key words, either to say or whisper out loud, or in your mind; I use ‘stillness’ to begin, with each inward breath. Then I bring in ‘tranquility’, ‘serenity’ and finally ‘peace’, the idea being that these words represent different levels of relaxation, each one getting calmer. You should begin to feel more at one not only with yourself but also within the environment you are walking. Effectively you are not trying to shut out the world as you would in your home, you are walking more peaceably within it.
  7. Equally, you don’t have to introduce any words, you can simply keep purely concentrating on the breath. In time you will probably find your own method; the key is the controlling of the breath. The idea is that not only can you have good exercise but you can also relax your mind more fully in the process. Once complete, try to maintain that sense of wholeness. How does your environment feel now? Afterwards, you may also become of aware of new ideas, new insights you never imagined before.

Naturally, there is always the risk that you may come across people you know, so you may have to interrupt the process. If you are walking in a town or city, then naturally you will have to regularly stop, look around. Even so, you can still maintain a strong sense of mindfulness with the breath. Just like in general meditation, if you find your mind wandering elsewhere for whatever reason, just bring it back to the breath.

Be easy on yourself and enjoy your freedom. After a period of time you may find that this little space becomes restorative, a little ‘you time’. And don’t you deserve it?

* Always remain mindful whilst walking, be careful.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020