Steps to make any move a meditation

how to meditate

Steps to Make Any Move a Meditation

How do you meditate while you move?

In “Shinzen’s Answer to Everything” and “More About Shinzen’s Answer to Everything,” I shared Shinzen Young‘s frequent suggestion:

“Infuse your experience with awareness and equanimity.”
—Shinzen Young11

To put Shinzen’s answer in motion and make any movement a meditation, follow these steps:

1. Choose a form of movement.

2. Choose an interval or period of time.

3. Choose an aspect of experience (i.e., an object of meditation).

4. Begin the movement practice. As you move, place your awareness on the object you have chosen.

5. When your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your chosen object of meditation.

6. Do all of this gently, with no strain and no self-judgment. Be curious and open, interested and aware.

7. If your body and/or mind respond, acknowledge that response, then either return to your original object of meditation or intentionally make the response your new object of meditation.

8. If you forget how to implement this, contact a qualified teacher who will help you remember.

Here’s an example of how I do it:

1. Movement form: running. Big surprise.

2. Interval: the first mile.

3. Object (experience): the sensations in my left foot.

4. Place awareness on the object: I start to run and direct my attention toward my left foot, letting my focus sink into the sensations as they exist in real time. I’m not thinking about my foot or imagining my foot. I’m attending to what my foot really feels like.

5. Mind wanders, gently bring it back: I begin to daydream about breakfast. I remember I decided to meditate. I gently return my attention to that left foot.

6. Recycle any reaction: If I feel irritated at not being able to daydream about breakfast, I give that part of myself a little nod and remind it we’ll get to  eat breakfast in real life, later. I return to my left foot.

7. Gentle: As I continue to run and meditate, I notice any physical strain, mental judgment, or emotional tussles. I do my best to be with those while returning the attention to my left foot.

8. Ask for help: If I have difficulty (physical or emotional) or am confused, or if anything too upsetting arises, I contact a meditation teacher, a medical professional, or a therapist.

This excerpt is from Make Every Move a Meditation by Nita Sweeney which is available now through Amazon and Mango Media.