Small Steps Toward Happiness

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”
- Lao-Tzu

When was the last time you took a step with your focus on the step itself rather than where you were going? 

When we’re at our happiest, we understand that happiness comes from within ourselves and that we’re deeply connected with the world around us.  It’s a bit of a paradox.  When we’re unhappy, our inside/outside relationship has been turned on its head: we look to external factors to bring us happiness and at the same time are disconnected from the world around us. 

Walking meditation can help us reset our inside/outside balance.  As we bring our attention to the inner world of sensations that arise from each small step, we begin to adjust to how we relate to what arises in life. We discover a sense of wonder; we explore our experience with curiosity.  When unpleasant emotions and thoughts arise, we can watch them come and go with the same curiosity with which we notice what it feels like to take each small step.  We come to see that steps, thoughts, emotions and sensations have beginnings, middles and ends.  None last forever.  

We can do this on our own, and we can also do it in a group, moving in a circle. We can harmonize our pace with the walkers before us, knowing that the walkers behind us are adjusting their pace to ours.  We loosen the grip we have on a sense of individuality, and we feel the common experience we’re sharing.   

There is a Taoist concept (Lao-Tzu, quoted above, is regarded as the founder of Taoism) known as “wei wu wei”, which can be interpreted as “action without action”. This sums up walking meditation nicely. We are walking, but not to get anywhere, not with a goal.  We are just walking and noticing what it is to walk.  Interestingly, “wu wei” (non-action) is represented as a hand-drawn circle.  The hand does the drawing without the mind’s goal-setting getting in the way.   Again, a wonderful connection to walking meditation done with a group in a circle!

We hope that you will join us this week as we take small steps together on our journey toward happiness.

Community Sits this Week:

Monday NO SESSIONS due to Labor Day Holiday
Tuesday 1:00 PM Ferguson Library 1 Public Library Plaza Stamford (made possible by a grant from Bankwell)
Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library 151 Main Street New Canaan
Wednesday 7:30 PM Grace Episcopal Church 5958A Main Street Trumbull

Check out our newly enhanced Resource Page at the website www.communitymindfulnessproject.org.  We’ve got book recommendations, guided meditations, discussions of practices and links to other relevant websites.  Let us know what you think!

Upcoming Events:  
One Day Silent Retreat Saturday September 29th, St. Paul’s on the Green in Norwalk.  Here is more information.  

Mindful Speaking and Listening Workshop Sunday September 30th, New Canaan Library.  3-4:30 PM.  Join us to learn tools for open communication on any topic.  We guarantee your Thanksgiving dinner will be much less stressful!" 

CMP thrives on donations. All of our weekly sessions are free and open to the public, but donations are essential to our sustainability. Checks, cash and credit cards are accepted and donations are tax deductible.

May all beings everywhere without exception know happiness and connection,

Your friends at CMP

Stay up-to-date on all CMP news and happenings by visiting our website CommunityMindfulnessProject.org.

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