Monday, August 24, 2009

Running Meditation

I am coming up on an anniversary of sorts, and every year at the end of summer I make a spiritual goal for the upcoming year. This past year's goal was to add a regular meditation practice to my day. Finally, over the last month I have set my alarm clock 15 minutes earlier, compensating by setting the actual time ahead a bit so I don't psychologically feel it, and have been starting the day with a ten minute silent meditation. I also found that there are other types of mediation that I can incorporate into my day. I use my time running as meditation, and find that when I return I am a little bit calmer than I was in the beginning. In this running meditation there is cadence (feet hitting pavement), breathing (especially on uphills), and a mantra (I hope I don't die, I hope I don't die). One of my favorite routes takes me from road to trail, running through pine forest, over rocks, and traversing a stream filled with cattails. As soon as I hit the trail my pace picks up, and I seem to receive energy from the woods. It is almost as if I am connecting with ancestors who ran trails through pines, running from saber tooth tiger or traveling to another village. My speed picks up and I experience the total joy of running. At these moments I am fully present and aware. I think that that is a goal of meditation, awareness of the body, the present moment, and the breath. I believe this culture leans toward frantic doing. Meditation brings me to frantic being. I guess that is a step in the right direction.

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