Walking with Deepak & Oprah

As a committed yogi, one of the hardest things for me to do is meditate.  I have always admired people who have the discipline and ability to sit quietly and let their minds, bodies and spirit experience the enlightenment and the “in-the-moment” benefits of meditation.  In this Yoga Journal blog post, the writer lists 100 benefits of meditation.  If I could sit for 5 minutes consistently, and only hit a few, I’d feel like I had made progress.

Recently my friend and fellow yogi, Pam Kessinger Best of Love and Light Yoga Co, told me about a 21-day meditation challenge hosted by Deepak Chopra and Oprah.  I thought, this is it! This will help me get my meditative act together.

So I began the program, listening to the uplifting and meaningful meditative prompts.  Day 1, I meditated at night . .. and promptly fell asleep before Deepak was done. Day 2, I meditated in the morning with the same result.  Day 3, I meditated mid-day in our sunroom and fell asleep again. Each time, I failed to meditate for the entire time, napping instead.

One day 5, as I was walking the dog (which I do about 5+ times a week), it came to me: when meditative practices began (probably about 5,000 years ago or more)  most people were very active, farming, tending to live stock, etc.  To sit — really sit — was a welcome change to their rigorous lives.  In fact, I’d guess that you had to reach a certain economic or religious stature to even have the chance to sit and meditate.  Sitting was a luxury; sitting was a sign of piety; sitting was uncommon.

I don’t know about you, but for me, sitting is a daily occurence. I spend the vast majority of my day sitting.  So when I think of meditating, the last thing I want to do is . . . . you guessed it: sit.

On that same walk, I began to consider that my time walking (usually 45-60 minutes) may be my own personal form of meditation.  During those moments, I feel deeply connected with nature. Having the most zen being on the planet by my side, our dog Roxie, brings the present moment into crisp focus; and removing myself from the home, I leave the computer, laundry and everything else behind. My mind lightens up.

Walking meditation
My walking meditation partner

So, I’ve begun cultivating these walks as my meditative practice, taking Deepak and Oprah along.  I focus on my breath and feel the earth beneath my feet. I listen to Oprah set the stage and Deepak explain the mantra. I release the Monkey Mind and try to completely relax.

Is it ideal? Probably not, but it’s a start and that’s the most important thing.

What about your meditation practice? How did you master seated meditation?

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