BBETTERDAILY: Meditation in Motion

When you hear mediation most people immediately associate it with the sitting form, which is more commonly known in the west, but traditional Buddhist teachings identify four meditation postures: sitting, walking, standing and lying down.

Within the practice of walking mediation there are several kinds, for the most formal walking meditation you will need to find a pathway about 30 to 40 feet long, and simply walk back and forth. When you reach the end of your path come to a complete stop, turn around, stop again, and then start again. Most people say it helps to keep your eye cast down without looking at anything in particular, other say its helpful to keep the eyelids half closed.

Find a pace of ease, focusing your attention into the body, once you are feeling connected to your body, let your attention settle into your feet and lower legs. In sitting meditation, it’s common to use the breathing in and out as an “anchor” keeping us in the present. In walking meditation, the focus is on the alternating stepping of the feet. Dedicate your attention to the sensations of walking, to your legs and feet to each step, feel your legs and feet tense as you move, feel the contact of your foot with the ground. Getting a sense of the rhythm of the steps may help maintain a continuity of awareness.

Walking meditation is a great alternative to sitting meditation. Although it’s frequently used as a refreshing option to long periods of sitting, thus giving the body a break, it is generally practiced as a form of meditation in its own right.

The Buddha illustrates some key advantages by practicing walking meditation.

- Diminishes the risk of disease
– Prepares our bodies for long journeys (physical fitness)
– The equanimity achieved by walking up and down has long term effects
– Prepares us for adversity and strife
– Enables proper digestion

Any activity we engage in can turn into meditation including washing dishes, eating dinner, driving the car, cutting the grass, or simply walking. Mindful walking, or walking meditation, induces a zen like state-of-mind and promotes a feeling of peace. Buddhist monks would remain mindful as they went about their day performing their menial daily tasks such as preparing food or fetching water. It was just natural for them to turn walking into a chance to increase mindfulness and kindheartedness.

Walking meditation may be the best form of meditation to practice today due to our busy modern lifestyles. Most people find it difficult to set enough time aside to actually sit and meditate. However, since most people are always walking somewhere anyway, it provides a golden opportunity to enhance the health of both mind and body simultaneously. Even just walking from the car into a store presents a chance for a minute or two’s worth of walking meditation. It can easily be incorporated into the little breaks we have throughout the day.

In addition to the health benefits that walking meditation produces, it creates a sense of fun as well. It allows us to enjoy the tranquility we get from engaging our minds, boosting our physical health, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life in a simple and easy manner.

BBETTERDAILY- A Success Story: Will Smith

Willard Carroll “Will” Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American comedic and dramatic actor, producer, and rapper. Some may say he was destined from greatness…he would say we all are. Smith was born and raised in West Philadelphia; he also lived in Germantown in Northwest Philadelphia. His mother, Caroline (Bright), was a school administrator who worked for the Philadelphia school board, and his father, Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., was a refrigeration engineer. His parents separated when he was thirteen. So he comes from a typical American family in terms of profession and income. But the lessons his parents taught him, especially his father, had such an impact on him that he knew he could be anything he wanted to be; and he wanted to be anything but ordinary.

Though widely reported, it is untrue that Smith turned down a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); he never applied to the school, although he was admitted to a “pre-engineering program” there. According to Smith, “My mother, who worked for the School Board of Philadelphia, had a friend who was the admissions officer at MIT. I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids, so I probably could have gotten in. But I had no intention of going to college.” We can see here that he knew what he wanted and what he did not want for his life. The first thing that determines success is knowing what you want.

He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood.Smith has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.

In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show ran for nearly six years (1990–1996) on NBC and has been syndicated consistently on various networks since then. In the mid-1990s, Smith moved from television to film, and ultimately starred in numerous blockbuster films. He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, and eleven consecutive films gross over $150 million internationally and the only one to have eight consecutive films in which he starred open at #1 spot in the domestic box office tally.[5]

Will Smith is ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes[6] despite the box-office and critical disappointment of his 2013 film, After Earth, co-starring Jaden Smith. Sixteen of the twenty fiction films he has acted in have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million, and five took in over $500 million in global box office receipts. As of 2013, his films have grossed $6.63 billion in global box office.[8] He received Best Actor Oscar nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.