What is your “Kinhin” Practice?

As I was watering our labyrinth garden on a hot sunny August day with our gravity fed rain and pond water, hand watering system, a man rode by on his bicycle with a friendly wave. “Do you have an abundance of produce for sale”, he yelled. “I don’t usually sell my produce but I could share some with you if you like”. He read our kiosk, which describes the labyrinth and the herbal healing garden, while I harvested a bag full of dark green kale, carrots, beets, an onion, garlic bulb and a handful of fava beans, then came over to me.

“My family is of the traditional medicine world but I am wondering if you know, does valerian really works for anxiety”?

“Yes, it does and for sleep too”. I shared another man’s story with him about valerian and his sleep patterns and how the other man was now sleeping with ease without the valerian.   He decided to try a little valerian too.

“Have you ever heard of Kinhin; it’s a practice that Buddhist monks talk about. They consider slow walking movement throughout the day their meditation and call it Kinhin. I think your labyrinth walkers may enjoy knowing about this”.

Kinhin means: “to feel a step when taking a step, in other words, to take a complete step. It’s meaning is similar to the idiom ‘walk-the-talk’”.

IMG_3232I feel as though I practice something like Kinhin everyday when I’m here watering, walking and caretaking this land.  

I invite you to do the same.  Take a walk in the labyrinth here, on Lopez Island, or in a place that works well for you. Make a conscious decision to take a complete step in your practice in some form, even if it is when you’re feeding your goats.   Allow your mind to settle, allow your thoughts to come and go, and permit your being-ness to simple be.  Practice your style of Kinhin often!

I ask you, what is your “Kinhin” practice.  Please share a comment below or email me at whispersofnature@gmail.com.  Thank you!


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