movement as meditation: learning to walk in peace (when sitting is not an option)

walking is always, always a good choice.
we were built to walk.
every location of every muscle and every shape of every bone
offers perfection in walking…
our bodies want to walk.
and with the body as in life,
we will find that what attracts us is in our own best interest.

~joy colangelo

It’s walk where you are 3been almost 15 years since I discovered that walking meditation was actually a thing! It happened quite spontaneously through the normal course of my day, trooping around New York City.

One moment I was mapping out errands and very likely puzzling out the “issue-of-the-day” related to grad school, work or relationships; and the next: I could only hear the sound of my breath and the rhythm of my boots on the pavement.

Everything else dropped away. The cacophony of the bustling neighborhood became a low humming in the background — alerting me of my surroundings but no longer as intrusive or overwhelming as it could be.

In the midst of the relentless “madness,” I felt surprisingly centered, clear and relaxed!

But it would still be years before I even stumbled across mention of walking (along with standing, lying down, and, of course the most commonly-known posture, sitting) as a form of meditation. “Ahhhh,” I thought. “So that’s what was happening?!”

Many moons later, I was introduced to the formal practice of walking meditation when I began studying the dharma with my root sangha. Those 20 minutes that we devoted to silently circumambulating the temple helped us transition from the hustle of the day into the quiet refuge of practice. Physically, it also helped to ease tension and to pbig sky mind.constellation2repare us to sit steadily in meditation for 20 minutes.

Beyond the temple walls, I’ve enjoyed walking meditation in yoga studios, at a labyrinth, on a park trail….and lately: around the rug in my living room!

So walk where you are to invite mindfulness and cultivate peace.

March Mindfulness 2015

Today I kick off my annual ‪#‎MarchMindfulness‬ campaign to promote the practice of bringing skillful + compassionate awareness to how we engage, are impacted by, and then respond to the world around us.

The Satipatthana Sutta (Discourse on The Four Establishments of Mindfulness) is a foundational text and, ultimately, guiding practice in Buddhism. It is the inspiration and heart of my ‪#‎BodyAwarenessBootcamp‬ series, which ended this afternoon, and truly the ground in which my teaching practice is rooted.

How do we fully establish ourselves in mindfulness? We are diligent in developing a clear comprehension of the realities of our body and mind. It begins with the thread of the breath:

Breathing in,
be aware that [you] are breathing in.
Breathing out,
be aware that [you] are breathing out.

Breathing in,
be aware of [your] whole body.
Breathing out,
be aware of [your] whole body.

Throughout each day this month, let us take a few moments to immerse ourselves in this level of awareness and notice what moves, blooms, dissolves, transforms and even becomes reconciled in our body, mind and heart.‪ #‎RadicalActsOfSelfCare‬