Barefoot Spirituality

Sitting in the zendo this past Sunday morning deep in zazen I peek around the room. Peeking during zazen will not get you any closer to enlightenment but it does feel good to stretch the neck. I started to think about, actually in zazen you're not supposed to think; your thoughts arise, you notice them and then let them pass into the emptiness.

We are all barefoot. A group of barefoot people sitting in a Zendo contemplating the whatever?

This got me thinking about how many things in my life I do better when I am barefoot. I write better when I am barefoot. I play guitar better when I am barefoot. I trail run (almost) barefoot, in Vibram 5 Finger shoes. Yoga barefoot, lots and lots of things I do in my barefoot. I play with my daughter in the backyard barefoot.

There is no special reason why I prefer barefoot life, I just do.

After the Sunday service at the Zendo I could not stop thinking about all the barefoot Buddhas we are trying to be. There is comfort in barefoot but also there can be pain if you do not watch your step. Barefoot brings about awareness to your body and attention to the soil you walk upon. I like this idea. Mindfulness by foot.

Currently reading “Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei” by John Stevens. It is the story, if that is the right word, of a group of Buddhist monks who push the limits of human endurance in service for attaining enlightenment. In 7 years they will have run 1,000 marathons on a vegan diet. This is taking “The Four Noble Truths on suffering” to a crazy place of ultra endurance athletes seeking a spiritual high. By the way, they run in straw sandals that fall apart daily, they run nearly barefoot.

What I am learning in this book?

That we need to know our place in this world. To understand the soil that we walk on, to experience the importance of each season. To see the effects of what damage we may do to our surroundings. To take notice to the people around us as we are moving by so quickly.

Barefoot spirituality. I remember reading a Ken Wilber book where he wrote “Finding your spirit is as easy as noticing your feet” .

I like that....