“There is a journey between our steps that we always miss.” This idea was provided to me by Grand Master Samuel Copeland(1) and it led to my week three focus words. What is the space between our steps?
Last week’s mindfulness focus was to be aware of each time my feet touched the ground, to “walk as if kissing the earth.” (2) So this week’s concept, I hope, will help me tune into the entire process of walking in a more intentional way.
There is a rhythm that happens as we walk and it is easy to focus on the steps as beats in that rhythm. The space between our steps is a kind of reverse image of stepping, but encompasses even more than just the opposite of stepping. It reminded me of another idea I’d heard in a drumming workshop, that any rhythm is formed by the space between the beats. Ponder that for a while. 🙂
Most of us don’t remember learning to walk, but if we watch a baby learning, we can observe how intentional they are in sensing the weight shift and the balance needed to be stable. Being attentive to the shifting of weight is a basic component of Tai Chi. It actually starts in our core.
So for this week, the intention and focus is on that space between each step. Can I sense each moment of the transfer of weight between my feet, the moment each foot releases to the other, and all of the moments in between? What is happening in my core, legs, and feet as I step, transfer the weight, and then lift my foot. This is a walking meditation that focuses directly on sensing, and feeling where my body is at all times. What is the space between the steps?
If you would like more information on my focus words experiment click here.
(1) Grand Master, Samuel Copeland, Gung Fu and Tai Chi instructor, Erie, PA
(2) From Thich Nhat Hanh’s book from Peace in Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Every Day Life .