As I sit here in my 1 bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, California, I hear people in the building across from mine screaming at each other in a language I don’t understand. Out the window across from that one, I hear jackhammers tearing apart the street, blocking off coveted parking spaces.
Oh wait, someone just started playing bongos.
In a world where there just doesn’t seem to be silence anymore, how can you find your peace?
I’ve never been an Om person. I’d rather be moving: lifting heavy things and sprinting and getting s**t done! I love yoga, and I can really get into the calm state of mind in that studio, but meditating on my own is something I’ve never given much effort because I’m just not interested.
That said, this will not be a post on meditation. This will be a post for people that can’t stop moving… so this is a post for me, basically. :)
Moving meditation is something that I’ve discovered by accident. I didn’t read a book on it. In fact, I tried, but ended up putting it down because it was boring.
So here’s my take on moving meditation and how it helps me get centered and calm when I just want to yell out the window, “Shut the f**k up!”
Running is my form of meditation.
I run to think. I run to breathe.
I run because I don’t feel like I’m wasting time doing it, which is what seems to consume my mind when I try to sit in one spot for any length of time and meditate.
If I’m feeling disoriented, anxious, angry, or any other negative emotion, I go out on my usual 3.2 mile loop in my neighborhood with these things in mind:
•If you feel like you’re working hard, you’re going too fast (stole this from Born To Run).
•Breathe. Belly-expanding, deep breaths.
•Remember to look at your surroundings. Take in the sun. Take in people’s smiles when they pass you by. Take in the excitement of the dogs as they go out on their morning walks. NOTICE what you take for granted every day, become aware of the effect it has on you, and express gratitude for it.
•Sing along. Music helps me relax instantly. Mouthing the words helps me enjoy each moment as it comes, instead of worrying about what I still need to do when I get home.
I run away to come back to myself more positive, present, and calm than when I left.
You can do this form of meditation with any aerobic activity (read: slower-paced workouts only- no sprints or fast, heavy lifts). You should be breathing fairly easily. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being sitting and 10 being sprinting from a bear, you should be between 4 and 7 for this workout.
Don’t run? Walk. Icy outside? Hop on an elliptical at the gym. No gym membership? Pick up a sponge and start cleaning the house!
There is no reason why you can’t try this today. Give it a shot! Let me know how it works for you!
The noises have calmed down quite a bit now and I don’t quite feel like screaming anyone’s ear off at this very moment. I credit the run I went on this morning for saving that poor hippie’s life across the way.
Are you the type of personality that would benefit from this too? Try it out and let me know how you like it in the comments below!
Do you already meditate the traditional way? I’d love to hear your take on moving meditation. Do you think you’d have trouble concentrating? Do you think you’d be stronger at this exercise because of your current meditation practice?
photo 1 by jared, photo 2 Ed Yourdon, by photo 3 by jakesmome