February 09, 2012
There is only one way to walk in New York City: mindfully. Actually, let me back up. You don't have to walk mindfully in New York, but if you don't you're roadkill. (In fact, the main reason that you should walk mindfully is because so many people don't.) Most of the time you have to be prepared to move quickly, to avoid other walkers, taxis, bicyclists, or a crazy person. At other times you need to exercise patience—waiting for the next subway or slowly shuffling through a bottle neck situation at Grand Central during rush hour. Either way, if you find yourself walking in New York, Peter Doobinin had some good advice in today's Daily Dharma:
As you walk, cultivate a sense of ease. There’s no hurry to get anywhere, no destination to reach. You’re just walking. This is a good instruction: just walk. As you walk, as you let go of the desire to get somewhere, you begin to sense the joy in simply walking, in being in the present moment. You begin to comprehend the preciousness of each step. It’s an extraordinarily precious experience to walk on this earth.
That's from "Awakening, Step by Step." It might seem difficult / impossible to cultivate a sense of ease while walking in chaotic conditions, but it can be done. And the best way to do it is one step at a time.
Has anybody else been trying walking meditation during this Meditation Month challenge? In your experience, how does it compare with sitting meditation?
Throughout Meditation Month we'll be posting videos, audio interviews, articles, and tips from well-known Buddhist teachers. If you need more personal advice for your practice, "Meditation Doctor" and Zen teacher Brad Warner will be answering reader questions here all month.
Our meditation e-book, free to supporting and sustaining members, includes 25 articles on meditation that will help you develop and maintain your meditation practice. You can download the Tricycle Teachings: Meditation e-book here. If you've been struggling with your meditation practice and you're worried about sitting the "right" way, listen to this week's Tricycle Talk with Jason Siff, the author of
For more on meditation and the body, check out Jill Satterfield's Tricycle Online Retreat "Meditation in Motion."
Image: from the Flickr photostream of bondidwhat