We use the natural setting in which Karvaan is conducted to connect with the 5 powerful elements of nature: Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Ether. Hence, going for hikes and sitting by the side of a lake, river, ocean is part of the daily routine of the retreat. However, we do it the Zen way.
Zen master Yunmen (864–949) purportedly admonished his disciples: “If you sit, just sit; if you walk, just walk—but don’t wobble.”
In the same spirit the intention of the hikes and walks of Karvaan is to bring your attention on each breath, and each step, one at a time. If one notices that I’m worrying about work or daydreaming, he/she must bring their attention back to what they are doing with their body. Just this breath, just this step. One also twists fewer ankles this way
So, the walks are slow and silent guided by our facilitators
You can adopt this technique back in your dynamic world, in the park etc. Take a few breaths. Listen. Do you hear any birds? What is this place saying to you? Is a breeze hitting your face? Can you smell the ground or any of the vegetation around you? What’s the taste in your mouth? Take a few slow steps and really feel your shoe contacting the ground, your weight shifting, your back foot rising and swinging forward into the next step. If going steeply uphill, take a rest step by locking your back leg with most of your weight on it, pause, then step forward onto the front foot
Zen Walks of Karvaan is a form of walking meditation, what Japanese Zen practitioners call kinhin.