I walk to work each morning. I often use that 20 minute span as a walking meditation exercise. During this walking meditation I am focused on the act of putting one foot in front of the other – I listen for the sound of my foot steps on the pavement. I feel the surface and notice the shifting sensations of walking on the hard cement sidewalk versus walking on a textured cobble stone street. I notice the added bounce that comes from walking on the springy grass when I take a pleasant detour across Fort Greene Park. As I walk, I take notice of the seemingly hundreds of muscles that must flex and contract to keep me upright and striding forward. As I walk my breathing is deliberate and set to a rhythm in time with my pace. My breathing becomes my personal sound track and it is music to my ears. I enjoy my daily commute.
What I also enjoy about walking meditation is the balancing of the inner and outer life. While walking I’m aware of my body and my thoughts and emotions yet I must be very aware of my surroundings so I can navigate my way safely through an urban minefield of cars, people, pot holes, and dog poop.
To me, meditation walking seems to be one of the few instances when multi-tasking truly works. On my way to work I’m doing some serious self-care of my mind, body and spirit which in turn makes me better capable of caring for others. I’m getting to the J-O-B to earn some M-O-N-E-Y which in turn keeps food on the table and a roof over my head. By walking to work I’m reducing my carbon foot print on the planet. Win, win, and win.
Now meditation walking has yielded another win. It has provided me with an entry for this Week’s Photo Challenge: The Sign Says. A few weeks ago, during a walk I became aware of all the marketing and advertising messages embedded in my urban landscape. I didn’t think I was reading any of them, yet I must have been taking them in on some level because one billboard caused me to giggle as I passed it. The next day, when my walk was less meditative and more pedestrian, I stopped to take a picture of it.
Here is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says – a picture of a clever billboard. This billboard isn’t hawking a new summer action movie or a liquor that will connect you to the “good life” when drunk (is that the right tense?) responsibly. In fact, the billboard is not advertising any of this year’s top 5 outdoor advertisers – McDonalds Restaurant, Verizon, Chase, Apple, and Metro PCS. The billboard is doing, what I believe is, a clever job of self-promotion.
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