Posted by: drjamm | February 27, 2009

Worm walk


A couple of nights ago it rained heavily. You could say the Heavens opened up and “cats and dogs” fell from the sky. The next morning I woke to a freshly washed day that Mother Nature had just taken from the Celestial Laundry Room and hung out on the line to dry. Fresh air, clean sidewalks, and frisky birds all insisted that I join them on the local seawall for a morning stroll. Of course, with all that rain, the sidewalks had flooded the night before and hundreds of worms had dog-paddled their way through the rain that puddled up on the sidewalks. By the time I arrived for my walk, hundreds of worms lay pell mell across the walk. I couldn’t walk 3 steps without threat of stepping on a worm. Indeed many poor worm souls were already squished by pedestrians and no doubt many others had become the inmates of the sea birds’ tummies — no wonder the birds were so frisky.

My walking style that morning was very peculiar  – step, step, spot a worm, side step, step, another worm, hop over, step… Because I wanted to avoid adding to the worm carnage, I had to pay attention to every step I took for my 60 minute walk. I saw hundreds of healthy worms wriggling their way off to the safe earth along the side the walk; and I saw hundreds more who were not so lucky. As I picked my way through the worm-scape, I became aware that I was moving through my walk like it was a walking meditation as described by Thich Nhat Han. While walking — and breathing — this peaceful monk suggests we open up to a Divine conversation with the world:

walkingmeditation1Breathing in, good morning, birds
Breathing out, thank you for your songs…
Breathing in, hello blue sky
Breathing out, thank you, dear blue sky, for being there for me

(quote from Nguyen Anh-Huong and Thich Nhat Hanh, Walking Meditation, p.23.)

Except inside my head my walking meditation sounded more like this:

Breathing in, good morning worms (oh my, there are so many of you)
Breathing out, if I place my foot here I should not step on your little bodies.
Breathing in, how are you worms going to make it safely across this wide sidewalk?
Breathing out, “e-yew,” there are dozens of already squished worms.
Breathing in, look up and take in that gorgeous ocean view.
Breathing out, quick look down you could be stepping on worms!
Breathing in, stay focused.
Breathing out, relax and be present in this natural beauty…


I know my meditation lacks much of the Grace of Thich Nhat Hahn asks us to achieve as we practice mindful walking meditation. But I am grateful that the living presence of all those worms called me to be mindful of how I walk on this planet — if only for a morning’s walk.

We who have two legs can easily practice walking meditation. We must not forget to be grateful. We walk for ourselves, and we walk for those who cannot walk. We walk for all living beings — past present, and future
Thich Nhat Hanh, Walking Meditation, p. 43.)

Today, I am sending along my wish that you may find Peace in your every step.

Credits and links:

Quotes: The above quotes are from Walking Meditation, written by  Nguyen Anh-Huong and Thich Nhat Hanh. To read more about htis book click this link:

Photo credits: jamm@brightheartsinging.wordpress.comm

bright heart singing, copyright 2009 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)



  1. What a beautiful invitation to literally walk the walk of being here as humans in bodies that need and feel and long for our conscious inhabitation. To walk the glorious dailiness of our lives – to smell and see and feel all of it – its fresh washedness and its drowned worminess. You demonstrate with a delicate powerful clarity (and indeed grace) what that looks like. Thank you!

  2. You are right with this. Good job.

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