I came upon this rather enlightening article– “Don’t Just Sit There” –in the New York Times and thought it obviously relevant for us all, especially meditators and contemplatives, writers, thinkers, Buddhist geeks and other sedentary denizens of the great Immobile State.
As a writer who spends seemingly endless hours at my computer, I’ve learned to value a movement break as much as a breath break! I’ve also found there are many options for “moving”. Walking meditation, yoga or tai chi are all interesting choices, as well as working with a physical trainer to focus on a more skillful work-out. If Buddha were alive and teaching today-and he is-he’d probably add a few extra innings to his anciently, tried and true Eight-fold Noble Path, such as Right Exercise, Right Relationships and GoodHumor. What we need is to seek out 21st century means of exercising our physical temples as well as our energy and spirit.
Hemingway hacked away at his typewriter while standing and H. D. Thoreau of Walden Pond, former writer-in-residence at my neighborhood swimming hole, said that he got rusty if he didn’t walk four hours a day. His favorite pastime was what he called ‘sauntering’. Personally, I saunter many Friday mornings around the hills and forests, lakes and meadows of my beloved Concord, with my Unitarian minister friend and Dharma comrade Kim Harvie. We follow in the footsteps of the torchbearers of old–the Transcendentalist philosophers who were like the first American Buddhists, going into the woods and wilds for sustenance, noble solitude, spiritual solace, and inspiration; we seek what they sought, while moving our bodies and our energies in what I have come to call Co-Meditation.