Thursday, September 4, 2014

Walking With Alexander

This morning I practiced meditation with the Still water Mindfulness Practice Center.  A wonderful way to begin my day, especially on a gig day.  The extra added support and energy provided by a group of practicioners is nourishing.  When the period of sitting meditation ends there is always a brief period for people to unfold their legs and stretch before we stand and begin walking meditation.  I sit in a chair due to vein issues I developed years back.  As I saw the bell inviter reach for the walking bell, I thought how am I going to get out of this chair?  An opportunity to practice the Alexander Technique from a calm and clear state of mind and body.

I directed my head forward and up and continued to practice this simple act along the directions we have worked with in class and lessons over the years.  Smiling as I faced the community, the thought arrived that I could incorporate AT into my walking meditation this morning.  The practice of walking meditation is a practice where each step is taken mindfully.  One step on the in breath and one on the out breath.  During each breath one is invited be aware of the breath, the step and a thought such as peace, love, or joy.  I usually use this practice to manifest positive attributes in myself.  Today I worked with walking meditation and AT in this manner.

Breathing in - I know I am breathing in ( or simply "in)
Breathing out - I know I am breathing out ( or simply "out")

Breathing in - Forward
Breathing out - Up

Breathing in - Long
Breathing out - wide.

I walked for about 5 minutes in this manner, repeating the triplet of directions while maintaining awareness of my steps.  Thinking-in-activity would be the Alexandrian concept behind this.  For me this was easy as the practice of walking meditation is deeply rooted in me.  Due to the slowness of the steps, this is possible for anyone wishing to experiment with AT directing while walking.  I kept this somewhat alive as we sat again and had a reading and brief discussion.  As I left the building and saw the beautiful day unfolding, while my steps were now 3-4 to each breath, I again kept the directions alive.  This is a way to practice walking meditation outside in public view.  Still slower than many pedestrians hustling to school and work, but not drawing attention to oneself.

Now if only I could keep the AT directions alive while typing.  Progress not perfection I suppose.

Photo By Paul Davis.

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