How was Inner Walk born?
Prah Orlan is a Buddhist monk from the island of Koh Phangan. Three years ago he founded a style of Vipassana practice to fulfill the vision of raising people’s quality of life. He understood 2 main principles:
The first was that people have a tendency to run away from themselves. Western culture is a highly pressured rat race, with people running from one activity to the next, spending virtually no time alone in silence with themselves and their thoughts (think that even on commutes, at the gym, or on the toilet, people use their phones to kill the time). And even people who have embarked on a spiritual path, or have a regular meditation or yoga practice have a tendency to use these practices as a way to “quiet the noise”, or turn away from the difficult circumstances of their lives.
Secondly, he understood that the only way for a person to truly learn and integrate anything is by teaching themselves; to be their own masters. No amount of intellectual learning (books, lectures, YouTube videos, or even teachers) can have the same impact as experiential learning, or learning by doing, feeling, and seeing for ourselves.
Additionally, he noticed that people (particularly from the West) find it very difficult to sit in stillness for 8-10 hours a day during something like Vipassana meditation.
Prah Orlan decided to combine these two observations into a spiritual practice that helps people to turn inwards, to listen, observe and connect deeply with themselves. The practice needed to be something that people could do alone – learning by doing, and could be easily incorporated into their daily lives back home. This is how the idea of Inner Walk was born.
The walking meditation provides a rare space where one can observe one’s thoughts without distractions, without running away. Instead of ruminating on our thoughts, we learn to see our thoughts without judgement or analysis. And in doing so, simply strengthening the observation muscle, we learn about who we are, what we are, what our place is, and how to live in greater harmony. We begin to see that our thoughts are not actually “ours”, there is no fixed, solid “I” doing thinking. Thoughts simply arise and fall away, arise and fall away, like ocean tides.
By walking, actually feeling the practice in our own two feet, we learn the lessons by experience, and therefore are able to truly integrate the understanding.