spirit |╦łspirit|
1 the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul
2 those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period
1 convey rapidly and secretly

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Walking Meditation E-Mail

Hi Lisa and Laurie:

I wanted to share with you a great meditation experience I had in the studio today. Yesterday I was getting caught up on "Peace is Every Step" and read the portion about walking meditation:

Walking meditation can be very enjoyable. We walk slowly, alone or with friends, if possible in some beautiful place...The purpose is to be in the present moment and, aware of our breathing and our walking, to enjoy each step...Although we walk all the time, our walking is usually more like running...When we do walking meditation outside, we walk a little slower than our normal pace, and we coordinate our breathing with our steps.

As I sat in meditation after this morning's yoga class I recalled this passage and wondered if walking meditation would be peaceful in the studio. I rose to my feet and proceeded to walk in a square, purposely taking 11 steps alongside each wall of the room.

In slowing down, I realized how little balance is involved in everyday walking. Our regular walking is more applying hundreds of unconscious adjustments to each step to channel the energy of falling into a forward motion. When you slow down, you realize how out of balance you really are in taking each step.

I put my hands together in namaste, took each step purposely and focused the Mind on everything involved in each step. I became present to each muscle coming in contact with the floor and the adjustments my Body was making to keep my balance. Surprisingly I regularly had to make sweeping adjustments to keep from falling even though I was doing nothing more than walking slowly.

Once I "got into balance" I continued to walk but this time focusing on not allowing the little stopping moments my Body wanted to take. In this, I focused my Body on staying in motion even though the gate of my walk had not increased. Simply stated, I was now slowly walking fluidly in balance around the room. And then I closed my eyes and continued.

As Thich Nhat Hanh illustrated, this walking meditation was very refreshing and brought a new sense of mindfulness to my walking as I exited the studio. I ran home and told Rita about the experience and she tried it out in our dining room. She had the same experience as I (even though it wasn't the the calm and serene environment of the yoga studio).

I can envision small walking meditation classes in the same room where an instructor talks people through the progressive steps. Possibly groups of people will being to walk in unison in this collective meditation. Food for thought.

Best regards,


Darwin Stephenson
(415) 683-3301
★ Entrepreneur ★ Writer ★ Humanitarian ★ Innovator

2008/8/4 Lisa M. Gray

Starting August 19th, there will be a lunchtime yoga class on Tuesdays from 12-1...it's a Forrest Yoga class, and I think it will be great! This instructor is very highly educated and her classes will be fun.

Eventually we hope to have a very full schedule and are trying to grow at a moderate pace so we don't go too fast...I'd also love to have some early morning yoga classes eventually...

We actually looked quite hard for a good meditation instructor - we even contacted the Buddhist temples in the area, and no luck. As a starting point, we decided to begin with our own instructors. Eventually, though, we'd like a very professional and knowledgeable meditation staff. We would even consider meditation workshops if it is someone who cannot teach a regular class. So if you know of anyone, or come across anyone, it would be a great addition, I agree...

Thanks for your support -- suggestions are always welcome and I hope eventually we will have a full and well-balanced schedule.


Speaking of meditation...

I'm hoping that you'll bring in more instructors to lead group meditation sessions. My wife, Rita, and I really enjoyed a meditation session we experienced on the vacation I mentioned. It involved vocalization which I can only guess is derivative of Tantrayana Buddhism.

At any rate, I hope you'll make full use of that room as a meditation domain for your students to explore other forms of meditation.

Oh, while I'm throwing out suggestions... I also hope that you'll expand the yoga class offerings throughout the day. A pre and post lunch yoga session would be a great way to break up the day.


Darwin Stephenson
(415) 683-3301
★ Entrepreneur ★ Writer ★ Humanitarian ★ Innovator

On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM, Lisa M. Gray wrote:

Hi Darwin,

I wanted to just say thank you for the nice email the other day! That is exactly why we wanted to open a studio here and I'm so glad your family is embodying our vision!!

By the way, I just wanted to say that anytime the small studio is not in use, it can be used for sitting meditation. So if there are days when there are not classes in the small room and you want to use it to meditate, feel free.

Lisa Gray
Cosmic Dog Yoga

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