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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Running Meditation

There are brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way, so we don’t have to. And many of these military folk must run on a daily basis. But unless we’re being chased by a monster (from a child’s nightmare) jogging could get quite boring. Could there be a way to bring running into the Buddha’s path of mindfulness and meditation?

As we inhale we could silently and mentally recite “Notice this…” and as we exhale we could silently and mentally recite “…relaxing!

With each INHALATION (whether we know it or not, whether we feel it or not) we automatically access the sympathetic nervous system that supports our sensory acuity (allowing us to notice: vulnerably, passively, viscerally, and randomly). We could perceive sensations, flavors, scents, sounds, sights, and the like. We could generate as well as perceive emotions, intentions, thoughts, memories, and imaginings. We could notice the external or the internal, the physical or the mental, the pleasurable or the painful, the interesting or the boring, the glorious or the grotesque. And the only label we ever need to use is the word “this.” But what are we to do with all that we notice?”

With each EXHALATION (whether we know it or not, whether we feel it or not) we access the parasympathetic nervous system that induces our body to relax and our mind to release, and thus let-go. A happy coincidence of evolution has optimized our autonomic nervous system for mindfulness and meditation (the seventh and eighth folds of the Buddha’s path).

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