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Earthwalks for Body and Spirit
Exercises to Restore Our Sacred Bond with the Earth
Table of Contents
About The Book
A workbook of simple walking exercises to quiet the mind, expand consciousness, and rediscover our sacred relationship with Earth.
• Foreword by Victor Sanchez, author of The Teachings of Don Carlos.
• Includes 45 walking techniques that were developed from the author's work with Huichol Indians of western Mexico.
• Explores the power of moving meditation for achieving new levels of spiritual awareness through connecting with elements of the natural world.
• Includes group and individual exercises.
In Earthwalks for Body and Spirit, a workbook of 45 simple walking exercises, author and workshop leader James Endredy shows us how the act of walking can be a catalyst for personal transformation by teaching us to develop our attention, quiet the mind, expand our consciousness, and rediscover our sacred relationship with Earth. Each of the exercises, many of which are based on the author's work with the traditional indigenous practices of the Huichol Indians of western Mexico, offers step-by-step instructions and comments that will help you to gain the most from the walk. Additionally, the author focuses each group of exercises on a different aspect of transformation?there are walks of attention and awareness; group connection; connection to the nierikas (powers) of Sun, Water, Wind, Fire, and Mother Earth; connection to the energies of animals, trees, and places of power; and finally, as a way of honoring both your new understanding of Self and your deepened relationship with Earth, walks of offering and vision.
The nierika of Water expresses fluidity as it runs through the riverbeds flowing around and over obstacles, by the endless chant of the river and the incessant waves of the Sea. In the case of human beings, fluidity expresses as the possibility of facing in an efficient way, the complex situations that life puts in front of us. In order to act with fluidity in our everyday life, it is necessary that our ego loosens its rigidity so that we are able to use all of our resources.
This Earthwalk leads you to move with Water's physical fluidity, but also with an internal fluidity of attitude and feeling inspired by her. By emulating the flowing nature of Water we come upon much less resistance as we travel through life. Making our path one of least resistance does not imply timidity or a propensity for avoiding work or obstacles. On the contrary, it suggests that, like water, we are able to flow on our appointed path--which may mean over, under, around or through the many obstacles that cross it.
Instructions for the Practice
1. To begin this practice, find a place where you can walk next to a river, stream, or lake. The size of the water is not as important as its flow--water that is flowing is best.
2. Locate yourself close to the water (at a safe distance, if it is dangerously deep or fast-moving) and close your eyes. Listen for a few minutes to the endless chant of Water, singing the song of fluidity that is unique to that particular place.
3. Open your eyes and watch Water flowing and expressing her fluidity. Let your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions rise to the surface and be carried away with the current. At the same time, feel the magic of Water flowing through your veins in the form of your life blood--you and Water are the same.
4. Stay with this feeling for a few minutes and then begin to walk in a way that carries the fluidity of Water with you. At the same moment you begin to walk, repeat the word fluidity to yourself as you use your body to express the feeling of the word as it lives inside you. Your steps are sure but light as you float over and around obstacles in your path. Listen to the music of Water as her flowing caresses your soul. You and she are one; you have joined with the nierika of Water, you express it in your motion.
5. Thoroughly explore your transformation for at least twenty minutes and then stop walking and stand close to the water again. This time, as you look into the Water nierika, see your life. See how you react when faced with obstacles, with fears, with your unfulfilled dreams. Take a few minutes and, in a detached manner, watch the events of your life as they are shown to you and be sure to notice how you have dealt with them.
6. Next, looking into the flowing Water, see yourself facing your obstacles with fluidity. Feel her giving you strength--use it to help you dream a more fluid way to handle these situations in your life. Watch yourself accomplishing your goals and facing your fears with grace and power.
7. Make a commitment to your desire to be a more fluid being: Call to mind a specific task that you can readily accomplish. State your commitment to Water out loud.
8. Last, give thanks to Water and, as you leave the area to walk back into your life, carry her gift of fluidity. Accomplish your commitment as a concrete act of connection to her.
Comments on the Practice
This walk can be used whenever you visit flowing water. Even though they are all connected through the cycles of tides and rain, each flowing river or stream and each body of water has specific and unique qualities to offer. Each has the power to share insights, knowledge and her own unique songs.
When using this technique be sure to listen with all your heart and being--Water's message may come as a song with words, or in a way that is completely new to you. On a cautionary note, please be careful when working with a large body of water--the strength of the nierika of Water can be overpowering, especially when your energy or mood is low. For the first few times, it is usually best to open up to her when she is in a very safe and peaceful form such as a natural spring or small brook or river. These places usually have an energy that is happy and light, unlike the ocean, which can be extremely powerful and somber.
A powerful technique for connecting with the flowing rivers of your body is to become conscious of your heartbeat--to actually feel the pumping of your heart as it sends your blood (which is 90 percent water) through your veins and arteries. While listening to the beat of your heart is a wonderful way to become deeply centered and still, it also works to help you develop fluidity in your thoughts and motion.
*Manolo Cetina, from a presentation in his workshop, "The Jump to the Other Self," Ajusco, Mexico, 1997.
- Publisher: Bear & Company (March 1, 2002)
- Length: 200 pages
- ISBN13: 9781591438717
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Raves and Reviews
"Earthwalks for Body and Spirit offers us the possibility of gaining greater awareness through that most natural of actions, simply walking with attention and purpose. . . . James Endredy has put together a wonderful resource that is both intimate and well written."
– Jose Stevens, author of Secrets of Shamanism and Transforming Your Dragons
"Thank you, James Endredy, for giving us a valuable do-it-ourselves manual on self-care via walking to satisfy our genetically programmed need for intimate bonding with Mother-Father Earth. . . . You obviously walk the walk!"
– Howard Clinebell, Ph.D., author of Ecotherapy: Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth
"Earthwalks for Body and Spirit is an extremely effective guide for deepening your connection to Life. Using its practical and powerful techniques will awaken within you a more conscious and loving relationship with the Earth. "
– Joseph Cornell, author of Listening to Nature and Sharing Nature with Children
"For indigenous people everywhere walking is spiritual as well as physical--an ecstatic journey into our oneness with nature. In these magical pages, Jim Endredy opens the door to that journey. Earthwalks for Body and Spirit is a beautiful invitation for you to shapeshift your life!"
– John Perkins, author of Shapeshifting and Spirit of the Shuar
"Earthwalks provides us with techniques for walking that produce enhanced states of awareness."
– Heidi Rain, Spirit of Change, September/October 2002
"This fun and informative book can serve as an important step in discovering a real connection with planet Earth."
– HN, NapraReview, Sept/Oct 2002
"An extremely satisfying, well-written book!"
– Jenn House, Magical Blend, November 2002
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