The Zen of running, barefoot…

I stepped out into the glorious summer morn, ever so slightly reluctantly! My feet are now ready to run, as far as I want to and they are loving it… But my legs are now unfurling from relative hibernation for nearly a year and are doing their best to keep up with the enthusiasm of my feet!

It was on July 27th last year that my back was injured, and September 9th that I took my first barefoot steps again. I was watching the surfers, whilst walking with Anadi on Famara beach in Lanzarote…

They were warming up in their bare feet… My sciatica was still biting and I remember vividly the feeling coming over me… ‘I wonder…?’

I was profoundly aware that the injury was about a deeper letting go, a deeper trust, a deeper relaxation in allowing my steps to go wherever they wanted to go… To truly let the running take me where it will… To become the running…

To know the Zen of running…

And go even further into the experience of Zen and running being synonymous… To understand that happiness and peace can only be found within us and that if we are searching for it outside in the form of anything external, be that a great running result or a relationship with another or a beautiful body, success, fame, fortune…

All of these things are chimeras… They are fun to experience if they are part of our journey; but the real secret is to stay centred in self whatever is going on on the outer realms, be that success or failure, happiness or sadness, fame and fortune or lack…

And to know that all the answers are within, in this moment.

Last July, I had just finished a week in the Alpujarra mountains teaching  Zen running, with my wonderful group of Zen runners… My injury came the day after they left, and so I knew that it was a deeper process and that something would emerge as I let go and embraced the space within the injury time…

I didn’t know this time last year, that I would be letting go of my shoes!

And that in the process so much more would leave… The threads that deep in my unconscious still attached me to the chimeras I hoped running would bring me when I was young, were finally fully snipped…

And so today as I ran in the park I met with many souls.. My body and my feet were what attracted them to me; but of course my body and my feet are a reflection of my inner energy…

‘Are you a triathlete’?… A beautiful blond lithe woman called out to me? ‘No I’m a runner…’ I stopped and we talked, she admired my body and told me of her journey back from illness, the ravages to her body, her body was like mine before – she was a triathlete and a sports model –  and now she is taking steps again to that place she knew before…

I ran on and a man smiled ‘looking good ‘ he said… Round the top of the park I ran and three people walking their dogs stopped me to talk bare feet, my story, how have I done it…?

Round again and I met them once again, all chatting together now… ‘You’re inspiring us to do something, take that amazing body away…’ One lady laughed…

Round again, I passed another woman… She called after me, ‘you’re so fit’, I turned and she smiled, ‘thank you…’ I said, ‘for saying it to me…’

Onwards again around I looped and a little dog suddenly went wild barking, barking, barking at my feet…

‘Oh oh…’ his mistress said ‘I am so sorry… He has an obsession with feet…’!

 

 

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