A Philosophy of Walking.

By Frederic Gros

Verso Books. 227 pages.

Published 2015

ISBN-13: 978-1-78168-873-3

Winner of the English Pen Award

Here are 18 quotes on the deep significance of walking from A Philosophy of Walking.

May the quotes contribute to  making committment to the  experience of  intimacy with walking. We can engage in  very slow, short steps, up and down, as a truly meditative walking, with the space of all few metres.

We can walk in a mindful way from A to B, walking tall and with presence to the immediacy.

We can walk in the nature with no concern with destination. The act of walking expands the heart and mind. We love the solitude of the walk.

We can walk with a companion or group in the silence with sky above and earth below. We can experience the changes of climate and our interior environment.

Walking, hiking, pilgrimages, Yatras and time engages in the open nature, the hills, the moor, the cliff tops, the forest and more.

A walk offers Intimacy, authentic living, a time for renewal, discovery and a knowing of freedom.

Here are quotes from the book followed with a couple of lines about the writer.

  1. There is the suspensive freedom that comes by walking, even a simple short stroll; throwing off the burden of cares, forgetting business for a time. Frederick Gros. Page 3
  2. Freedom then is a mouthful of bread, a draught of cool water and the open country…Happy to set off , one is also happy to return. Frederic Gros. Page 5
  3. By walking, you escape from the very identity of walking. Frederic Gros Page 6
  4. The walking body has no history; it is just an eddy in the stream of immemorable life. Frederick Gros Page 7.
  5. Do not believe any idea that was not born in the open air and of free movement. Friedrich Nietzsche. Page 11. From Ecce Home
  6. It is our habit to think outdoors – walking, leaping climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails become thoughtful. Friedrich Nietzsche.
  7. When we are walking, it isn’t so much that we are drawing nearer and nearer, more that things out there become more and more insistent in our body. Frederick Gros. Page 52.
  8. Let’s go, route! I’m a pedestrian. Nothing more. Rimbaud Page 52
  9. What is called ‘Silence’ in walking is, in the first place, the abolishment of chatter., of that permanent noise that blanks and blocks everything. Frederic Gros. Page 61.
  10. I never do anything but when walking, the countryside is my study. Jean-Jaques Rousseau. Page. 65. From Mon Portrait.
  11. My only anxiety was to reach the end of my journey. Jean Jacques Rousseau. Page 66
  12. A wandering life is what I want.. Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Page 80
  13. Standing on the bare ground -my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space – all mean egotism vanishes. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  14. Let me have a draught of undiluted morning air. Thoreau. Page 98
  15. The traveller cherishes a warmer fire within the folds of his cloak than is kindled on any hearth .Thoreau. Page 104
  16. Feet on the ground occupy very little space. It’s through all the space they don’t occupy that we can walk.. Taoist Sage. Page 185.
  17. To walk without even the necessary is to abandon yourself to the elements.. Frederic Gros Page 192
  18. Above, before, behind, around me, all was peace and solitude.. Christopher Morley. Page 209.

About the Authors above:

Frederick Gros (1965 – ), a French philosopher and professor of political thought in Paris.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) German philosopher and culture critic. Author of Beyond Good and Evil and famous for ‘God is Dead’ statement – due to Age of Enlightenment.

Arthur Rimbaud (1854 – 1891). French poet, libertine and traveller.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau. (1712 – 1778) French philosopher, born in Geneva Switzerland, and influential voice for the Age of Enlightenment. Author of Reveries of a Solitary Walker.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882). American essayist, philosopher and a founder of the Transcendentalist Movement.

Henry David Thoreau. (1817 – 1862). American essayist, naturalist and tax resister.

Christopher Morley (1890 – 1957), American essayist and poet.



  1. Robert Norris

    Often I feel that in the walking we experience the coming together of inner Dharma, or many thousands of years of patient observation of the inner life of human beings, with the outer world of the elements, and the many thousands of years of patient observation of human and non human habitats. It’s as if with every step we express our capacity to bridge heaven and earth.

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