Walk on Earth

Today’s words of wisdom come from my Teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, known as Thay by his followers. I have heard him say that the miracle is to walk on Earth, in many of the dharma talks, and in many of the books and magazine articles I’ve read by him.

Thay quotes Linji (Lin Chi), “The miracle is to walk on Earth and” then goes on to say

Not on water, not on the burning charcoal, but to walk on earth. So please perform the miracle every time you use your feet and you will learn the art of stopping and living deeply each moment of your life. And you walk like that, not only for you, yourself; you walk for all of us. You walk for all our ancestors and our children and their children, also. So, please this morning, my friends, you have learned how to listen to the bell; how to breathe in and out and arrive, and how to enjoy our walking. When you practice for one week, you’ll see the difference.

See Walking into the Kingdom of God, a dharma talk from August 6, 1997 in Plum Village, France.

This quote and the one below show how much Thay values walking on Earth, as we pointed out in Walking Meditation For Healing. Walking meditation is one of the cornerstones of the practice in the Plum Village tradition.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on Earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.

– Thich Nhat Hanh


What are your plans for walking on Earth? When you start your daily, 9 minute meditation practice, be sure to include Walking meditation. This way, you will appreciate what walking on Earth is like.

Learn more about walking meditation in The Miracle of Mindfulness

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation


Thich Nhat Hanh

In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness–being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an o… [Read More…]

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