Cloud Pedaling: An Astrodharmic Walking Meditation

astrodharmic walking meditationI ONCE ASKED a Tibetan Buddhist teacher what she thought was the core cause of human suffering. “Believing this place is solid,” she quipped. Of course, I thought to myself, ego has to make it solid ‘out there’ so it feels solid ‘in here.’ So long as trees and tits and power plants and politicians stay unventilated by the sky that’s hosting them, the separate sense of self reigns supreme. Better to be proudly orphaned than mind-killingly merged, says our chicken-shit, bipolar ego.

And what, pray tell, does a meds-free life look like? Living the question: How do I maintain the shape of a healthy, sovereign wave whilst curling across the ocean of One Being? How do I balance my sovereign Aries head energy with the time-blind guidance that pedals my Pisces feet? Only this kind of embodied, nonduality has the power to christen us with in-your-face emptiness: the astrological definition of “awake.” Ready to practice? Here’s an Astrodharmic walking meditation to get you started.

Cloud Pedaling is designed to cultivate whimsical humility. How? By encouraging us to confess that our legs are, now and always, pumping on a stationary bicycle. Incomprehensible forces have put the earth in tow, tugging it deeper and deeper into the void while we earthlings pedal in place. Clearly, walking (and living) is not about “getting somewhere.” The best we can do is enjoy our spiritual gym time and, by grace, lose a few karmic pounds.

To set the tone for your walk, you may wish to memorize or recite the following:

I once was so, so alone, a sky in puberty.
Then vastness made a home in that little wind, called “me.”

Then follow these six simple steps:

1. Stand still.

2. Notice the ego’s tendency to locate your identity in and behind your face. How does it feel to be face-bound? Let your me-story muscles drain.

3. Drain the head. Now, pull the plug on your sloshing reservoir of me-stories, allowing them to drain down through your central channel and pool in your Pisces feet. What color is this descending head energy? How does it move: a watery flush or viscous ooze? Keep relieving your Aries head of duty until you feel a slight tingle in your Pisces toes. Viola! Numinous Nike’s!

4. Begin Cloud Pedaling. Start walking. How Aries embodied and Pisces ghost-like can you be? Picture a cloud beneath you. How much full-bodied, tongue-in-cheek delight can you generate as you pedal in place on your divinely-guided puff cloud? How playfully can you participate in ego’s “getting somewhere” illusion?

5. Keep Noticing. What posture and gait makes you feel most like a psyche of cosmic dimensions (Pisces) savoring the play of “separate somebody status” (Aries)? Does mantra help you tease sentience from the dead space moving around you? Experiment. Have fun. Try chanting the following phrase to the rhythm of your steps:

From person, to presence, to witness of even that.

6. End with a prayer.

May all beings burdened by the weight
of being a solid, separate somebody
return to the buoyant, cloud-pedaling posture
of their soul.

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