Jillian Pransky shares this story in her brilliant book Deep Listening. It’s been on my mind a lot lately.
A Buddhist community in France was visited by a reporter who was on assignment to write a story about the comings and goings of the group.
When he arrived, he was invited to take the daily silent walk with the group.
Upon returning from the walk, the members of the community were refreshed and joyful but the reporter was exhausted. All he wanted to do was take a nap!
It might be tempting to think the reason for this was because the community was accustomed to the exercise and the reporter was not. (He was just out of shape, right?)
Or maybe it was because the reporter was jet lagged. (Traveling is really depleting!)
Perhaps the reporter was an extrovert and being in that silent more introverted place was difficult for him?
But the answer was none of those things.
You see, on this walk, there were three simple rules:
- Feel feet hitting the earth.
- Connect with breath moving in and out of body.
- Look for beauty.
But the reported did none of them. He was caught up in his busy reporter’s mind. He was watching the community members, he was assessing and analyzing, he was basically writing his story as he was walking.
How often does this happen to you?
Me? ALL THE TIME.
I end up feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and unproductive – even on the days when I’ve done all of the things all of the time because I’m caught up in my busy mind.
But… when I do heed my yoga practice’s promises – the exact same rules the Buddhist community had for their walks – I feel so much better.
And I don’t even have to be on my yoga mat or anywhere even near a yoga studio to feel this way.
Give it a try, my friends.
Feel the earth under your feel.
Connect with the sweet pulsation of breath in your body. Inhale… Exhale…
And look for beauty all around you.