Showing posts from September, 2012

Walking Meditation and the Principles of T'ai Chi

Most people, I suspect, need no convincing regarding the potentially meditative qualities of walking. We discover them easily enough on our own just as soon as we’re old enough to take our first long and solitary stroll. We come to realize quite naturally that the repetitive rhythm of breath and step has a way of inducing stillness of mind, deep contemplation, and an appreciation of the present moment.

 Notwithstanding the fact that the meditative qualities of walking arise quite spontaneously, many practices have arisen that either utilize those qualities or serve to deepen them. We might refer to these practices as forms of walking meditation in order to differentiate them from the much more informal practice of “going for a walk.” Perhaps some readers are already familiar with the benefits of walking meditation after having been introduced to it via the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, for instance. Others might have been introduced to the deep contemplative quality of labyrinth …

Politics and Spirituality

The election season is a tough one for us Buddhists here in the United States – especially when it involves the presidency. Talk about putting our practice to the test! Is there any better time to see how well we can abide in equanimity, or how sincerely we take the practice of loving-kindness? Is there any better time to test the limits of our compassion? You’ve seen the ads. You’ve heard the quotes. Indeed, it’s a tough season – and one that we’d just as soon not have to contend with!

We Buddhists tend to shy away from conflict – generally speaking, anyway. We much prefer staying focused on living peaceful daily lives – diligently attending to the spiritual path laid out before us – over getting involved with any of the “messiness” of conflict. So maybe the toughest thing about all of this election season nonsense is how it draws us into such unwanted conflict and forces us to deal with all of the “messiness” of life – thereby nudging us toward the self-realization that maybe we’re…