Urban Mindfulness--The Book!


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    Entries in spring (2)


    Mindful Walking in NYC: The Great Saunter

    Submitted by Jonathan S. Kaplan, Ph.D.

    New York City is notorious for its stressful, fast pace.  And, with the coming of warmer weather, there will be plenty of athletic races in which New Yorkers can strut their stuff (quickly, of course).  While it is possible to be mindful while running, perhaps you've wondered if there is such a thing as a mindful walking event in NYC.  Well, this one comes close:  on the first Saturday in May, Shorewalkers will be hosting The Great Saunter, an all-day walk around the island of Manhattan.  The route spans 32 miles, so there should be plenty of opportunities to appreciate our surrounding coastline.  The organization estimates that people should be able to complete the walk in 12 hours (at a rate of 3 miles per hour with breaks), and there are NO prizes for first, second, or third place.  Yes, that's right:  the whole purpose is simply to go for a walk (okay, a really long walk).  So, if you're looking for a fun way to enjoy the spring, why not consider participating in this mindful, memorable stroll?

    Spring Mindfulness in Gotham: Finding a Middle Way

    By Irene Javors, LMHC

    The "winter of our discontent" has finally ended. The sun is out and the world is suddenly filled with light. We have weathered months of heavy snow falls and deluge like rainstorms. At times, we could have used sleds to transport us or even an ark to float us above the rising flood waters brought about by the torrential rains. We have been living in a climate of such extremes. I have been wondering if the earth has been reflecting back to us the extremism of the age in which we live. Our culture polarizes everything- black and white thinking and no shades of grey. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the violence here at home with right wing extremists and urban gangs, and the lack of civility in Congress all amount to a continuous reinforcing of the idea that "might makes right." There seems to be little room for measured tones or moderation.

    Spring is the season for taking time to do the proverbial "smelling of the flowers." All around us is an abundance of color and life. This is welcome excess. Unlike the harshness of winter with its howling winds and blinding snows, we are now in a more gentle season. If we stay mindful of all the beauty that surrounds us we will be able to carve out a middle way between the extremes of winter and spring. The natural world has much to teach us in the way of harmony and balance. Walk around your neighborhood and take in the way nature has provided us with the warmth of the sun, the flowers, and the magnificence of the trees in bloom.

    Most of all, to find a middle way, in these difficult times, open your eyes to the inter-relationship of all life. The way through the extremes is the path of gratitude.  Let us celebrate this season of rebirth!