How and Why to Stop Running

This week Annie will facilitate.

We will listen to a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh on our habit of running. 

Running after people, places, projects, and things is one of my most ingrained habits. I have been practicing to slow down since the 1990's and it is still a challenge for me sometimes.

Listening to Thay Nhat Hanh, we will be reminded of the way that mindfulness can help us stop running. Wanting to stop is not enough. "The willingness to stop is not stopping yet." We need to have an insight in order to break this habit of running after another moment.

We are not always comfortable in the here and now. We run because we don't believe that happiness is available right now. However, when we are fully present in the here and now, then we are present to being fully alive. And our practice is what helps us to see this. We can recognize what is happening in the present moment and see that what we need is already here. And we can help both our body and mind stop running.

He says, "You don't just meditate with your mind, you meditate with your body.  The first meaning of samatha is stopping. Without stopping you cannot do much."

Once we can stop our running, we can begin to look deeply at what is really happening. We may have painful emotions, wounds, despair, or injustice that needs our attention. This is only possible when we are able to stop. So stopping can help us heal. 

I look forward to seeing you Monday. After listening to the talk, we will have time to share about what we heard and whatever else is on our hearts and minds. Some questions we can consider are: 

  • What am I running toward? What am I running from?

  • What practices help me arrive in the present moment? 

  • What do I find when I stop and look deeply? 

with love,