Participants in the second annual Silent Meditation Peace Walk, sponsored by the South Sound Buddhist Peace Fellowship, circle Olympia's Capitol Lake. In the foreground is Koro Kaisan Miles of Open Gate Zendo.
On Sunday January 18th the South Sound Buddhist Peace Fellowship conducted its second annual Silent Meditation Peace Walk in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The walk, performed in the “mindfulness” walking style promoted and practiced by Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, attracted over 80 participants. The noon walk around Capitol Lake started and ended at Marathon Park with everyone bundled up for the cold. Starting out with 57 at the park, the number increased steadily as people from around the lake joined in as the procession passed them.
This silent walking meditation has been a hallmark of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings. He believes that to actualize peace we must mindfully include the thought of peace in our every action. His book Peace is Every Step is based on this premise. In 1967 Dr. King nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize for his unremitting dedication to peace and non-violence. Since that time Thich Nhat Hanh has become one of the most beloved Buddhist teachers in the world and a model of how to transform modern society by offering peaceful practices that are beneficial to people of all cultures and faiths.
In the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, the "Walk for Peace" is practiced as a form of silent meditation.
Fundamental to the spirit of this walk is that it is only for the promotion of peace without political references or negative connotations. Participants were encouraged to positively generate goodwill in their hearts and wish the same for others. The hour-long walk ended with a group discussion and the promise to continue the event as an annual tradition.
In addition to members of the South Sound Buddhist Peace Fellowship, several other area Buddhists groups were represented, including Olympia Meditators, Bodhi House, Plum Mountain Refuge and Open Gate Zendo.
The members of the South Sound chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship would like to give sincere thanks to all those who braved the cold to participate in this walk honoring Dr. King and the principles of peace and non-violence.
For more information about the South Sound Buddhist Peace Fellowship, please visit: www.ssbpf.org.
Contributor: Koro Kaisan Miles.
Photos: Kay Shultz.