Beach Walking As Meditation to Find My Zen. I Used to Burn Incense Too But I Set Off the Smoke Alarms One Night When I Burned to Much

Essay by Luke Foster

“To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss.” Bodhidharma

The first thing I do when I wake in the morning is roll out of bed and then walk up and grab a latte at the local cafe and I love to have a chat with the always cheerful baristas.

Then I take my coffee with me and head straight to the beach for beach walking where there is usually not many people there as I live in a sleepy little beach side town. Beach walking is my meditation.I always wear thongs and take them off when I reach the beach so I can feel the wet sand under my feet.

Sometimes I turn on gentle music on my iPhone and listen to that: usually The Best of Dido or The Best of Norah Jones or Jessica Mauboy songs. But if I really need therapy I just walk silently just listening to the sound of the crashing waves.

As a teenager to a young adult in Sydneys northern beaches I was a keen surfer so the beach and sound of the waves always has great peaceful and happy associations for me.

“ When thoughts arise, then do all things arise. When thoughts vanish then do all things vanish. “ Huang Po

Sometimes I do two hours beach walking and sometimes four hours. On the second lap I usually grab a chai latte with sweetener. It takes a few hours to surrender stress and worries and get in the groove of surrendering to nature.

“Start by doing what’s necessary then do what’s possible , and suddenly you are doing the impossible. “ Saint Francis of Assisi 

Saint Francis is my favourite christian saint. His words are like therapy for my soul.

After beach walking I return to my tiny studio apartment and work on my art or writing. These last few days I have been working on my art and writing website with my friend Ross who I went to art school with over twenty five years ago. He lives in Sydney so we correspond via the Internet. 

The beach walking empties me out and when I start working on my art or writing or other tasks then whatever inside me comes flowing out like a flow of consciousness.

“ Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Dalai Lama