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5 November 2000

Tonight I went walking in the rain. The wind is out of the north, and cold, but I keep a brisk pace, and I was quite warm. The field boots are bothering my heels a bit, but my feet will soon grow reaccustomed.

I've been thinking lately about meditation. I'm in amongst folk who meditate again, and it's something I don't do. I've tried it. I've done it. But, like yoga, it just doesn't do much for me. I used to feel bad about that, in part because I was being looked down upon for my "failure," and so I just went my own way and kept out of theirs. But, lately, I've had to think about it again. Because people are again asking me if I meditate— and some of them ask as if it were some form of personal hygeine in which I might be remiss (a sin almost as bad as eating Twinkies, drinking ale, or enjoying sex).

Well, I've come to realize something: I do meditate. But I don't sit like a lump by the clock to do it. I meditate on the move.

Meditation, for me, is tied inextricably to physical movement. I meditate walking. I meditate doing t'ai chi. I meditate playing the piano. I meditate while writing. I meditate doing needlepoint, while repairing a door, while drawing, while doing calligraphy, while giving a massage. All these acitivites engage my mind thoroughly through the physical movements of doing them. No other thoughts intrude but those few required for the task at hand. It's very relaxing. My breathing slows, my heart rate drops, my head clears. And, whenever I feel the need, I choose one of these methods of meditation and have at. It's the way I am.

So. Look down your noses at me if you must, o empty-minded, clock-bound, disciplined, sitting meditators, but, meditate on this: as Rudyard Kipling observed, "There are nine and sixty ways of constucting tribal lays, and every single one of them is right."

(Of course, maybe I just don't "get it." That's possible. I'm not so cock sure of myself that I belive I know all the answers. But, honestly, do you know anyone who does? (If you do, how do you know he's right?))

(And now you know why I don't get upset when told to "take a hike.")

I'm off to bed. Good night.


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