Last night, after working on a few writing projects,
I looked at the clock and saw it was 10:30. I told my
son, Frank, that he needed to hit the hay, that I had
to go for my evening Zen walk along the beach.
“Can I go with you?” he asked.
“Uh, well, uh, I, uh,” I mumbled, knowing that I’d be
out for nearly an hour, and when I walk there’d by
no small talk, chit-chat, and so on.
“Frank, when I walk, it’s a bit different, you know. I
do a slow, meditative walk. Are you sure you want to
“Okay, go tell your mommy that you want to go for a
walk with me and see what she says.”
Frank re-emerges from the bedroom and says, “Mommy
“Alright then, get your slippers on.”
“Daddy, why do you do a slow walk? Why do you meditate
when you walk?”
“It clears the mind,” I said. “It quiets my mind. It energizes
“Daddy, why do you want to clear your mind?”
“I want to clear my mind because during the day I think about
many things. But when I walk I either focus on them at a higher
level – or I let them go.”
“Why do you want to let go of certain things?”
“Because sometimes we try to force things. We try to use our
mind too push through. And oftentimes it is when we relax and
let go that the breakthrough happens.”
“How long are we going to walk?” asked Frank.
“2000 steps,” I said.
“Because it’s the number I’ve chosen.”
“Why you don’t choose 1000 or 5000 or 10,000?”
“Because 2000 takes a half hour and I want the meditation
to take a half-hour.”
“What if I get tired.”
“You won’t get tired if you count and focus on your breathing,” I said.
“But why count and focus on my breathing?”
“So you don’t think about dumb things like getting tired.”
“Why if I think about getting tired I’ll get tired?”
“Because energy goes where you put it. Focus on being tired
and you’ll get tired. Focus on breathing and counting and there’s
no room in your mind for tired thoughts.”
“Because your mind is designed to focus on one thing at a time?”
“So you don’t go crazy.”
“Are people who focus on more than one thing at a time crazy?”
“If they’re not yet, they will be soon,” I said.
Thus began our preparation for our walk. As I walked, every once in
awhile Frank would interrupt to ask how much further or how many
steps so far. Each time I directed him to let me take care of that
issue. I stayed focused and on target. Never scolded him. I was
happy to have him along.
It was a good walk. Me and my son.
Someday I hope he remembers the discussion prior to the walk MORE
than the walk itself. I also hope he recalls the value of the walk itself –
and how it clears the mind for the good things in life to manifest.
If you’d like to learn more on the how and the why of my evening walks,
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