on Leadership

Monday, October 17, 2011

Take a walk down "the meditation hallway"

In my talk at Creating a Mindful Society, I introduced the concept of “the meditation hallway.” You might know what a meditation hall is—but what is a meditation hallway, and why should you have one?

Well, it is exactly what it sounds like, a hallway—one that is very near your desk at work and that you pass through periodically throughout the day.

Here’s how it works: Each time you step into that particular hallway, you use it as a trigger to practice a form of walking meditation for as long as it takes you to walk through that space. (Now, to be clear, I am not suggesting that you walk in that “slow motion” way you might have learned while on a meditation retreat. In most work environments such “zombie walking” would be frowned upon—or worse. But you can slow it down just a bit.)

As you walk, begin to notice sensations in the body, the colors, the smells, the sounds in the hallway, and so on. If you find your mind pulled to your next meeting, or to the one you just left, redirect the attention back to your walking practice. Remember, the hallway is a “cell free” zone—no emails, calls or texts.

Moments of mindfulness practice throughout the day, such as these, begin to break our autopilot conditioning, and they strengthen the mind’s capacity to aim and sustain attention. When we are present, we are using all of the mind’s abilities to see clearly and to make compassionate and wise choices.

So, right now, why not choose a meditation hallway and form an intention to practice each time you enter it.

What do you notice?

How do you arrive at your next meeting?

posted by Janice Marturano, 12:00 am