Therapy Reviews: The Halo Method
For Kindred Spirit issue 174 (Mar/Apr, 2021), Lee Cuddis explains the essence of Halo Method, a walking therapy to release negative emotions
‘The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground’
About eight years ago my life came crashing down around me. It was shocking how it happened all at once. Just like dominoes, the parts of my life that I thought were stable fell apart before my very eyes. It was not so much what had happened, but the shock of vulnerability. That anything at any time could change in a heartbeat.
As I was going through this shift I realised that if anything could happen at any time, then the possibilities were endless. I could change my life for the better. I decided that personal change and healing was the route I wanted to explore, and that I had to transform my reality. I decided to train as a life coach to amalgamate my ever-growing knowledge and to help other people through their own traumas.
As time went on I became frustrated with the confines of life coaching, together with feeling that I wasn’t connecting with my authentic life purpose. I knew that I had to connect with myself on a deeper level so I could awaken my life’s purpose.
Whilst this was happening, my wife booked herself into a week-long retreat. At around the same time she was studying for a qualification in mindfulness, and decided to take her reading list with her. To her surprise, she found a book by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh in her luggage that she hadn’t realised was there. She immediately connected with this book and its teachings.
After the retreat, the power of the book resonated so much that she began her pilgrimage to Plum Village, the home of the author. The knowledge she gained there was immense and the teachings she absorbed became part of our family’s core values, permeating throughout everything we did.
The Halo Method
It was on our many trips to Plum Village that I started to formulate the foundations of the Halo Method. Even my business name, Walk With Me, comes from a film about the monastery and permission was given by Plum Village and the production company for me to use it.
The Halo Method is a dance of the human spirit – a connection to Mother Earth like no other therapy out there. It is a mix of the ancient way of walking and breathing and my own brand of intuitive personal development coaching – one which quickly releases negative thoughts and emotions.
We are continually rushing around in our daily lives. Our thoughts are about getting through the day and what we have to do next. We drive around focused on our destination and time of arrival, but happiness isn’t a destination – it’s the journey.
The Halo Method is designed to immediately put the ‘brakes’ on this mindset. I guide clients barefoot into the walking technique, encouraging the gaze to drift down in front, building a powerful grounding connection with the Earth. When walking in circles we instantly cut out a fixed destination or point of orientation on the horizon, bringing awareness into the current moment.
Through a guided process of breathing, we can bring our awareness into a meditative rhythm and in unison with our footsteps. As we are not used to walking slowly and barefoot, it can make us unstable at first. Our balance is thrown off, just like a child learning to walk for the first time. When an emotion or thought arises, we turn and talk it through with a calm presence of mind.
This method is for anyone that wants to have a deeper connection to their inner world, and has a multitude of uses for therapists/counsellors and holistic practitioners that would like to add a powerful therapeutic method to their repertoire.
I can’t explain the fundamental principles of the Halo Method better than with this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh himself:
Wherever we walk, we can practice meditation. This means that we know that we are walking. We walk just for walking. We walk with freedom and solidity, no longer in a hurry. We are present with each step. And when we wish to talk we stop our movement and give our full attention to the other person, to our words and to listening.
Walking in this way should not be a privilege. We should be able to do it in every moment. Look around and see how vast life is, the trees, the white clouds, the limitless sky. Listen to the birds. Feel the fresh breeze. Life is all around and we are alive and healthy and capable of walking in peace.
Let us walk as a free person and feel our steps get lighter. Let us enjoy every step we make. Each step is nourishing and healing. As we walk, imprint our gratitude and our love on the earth.