As a boy, I remember my father prodding me to move off the comfy couch and away from my favorite cartoons. “Use it or loose it!” was his way of saying, “That’s enough TV time. Now go do something.” These days I especially appreciate how vital it is to keep moving and doing, both physically and mentally.
When I was a younger man, sports filled my leisure hours. Football, basketball, track and field, and wrestling all gave me a sense of who I was and what I was capable of doing. Such activities built my confidence and revealed a level of stamina I had not known I could achieve. It felt good.
Although I still enjoy a good active game, I now find I am highly attracted to slower and more calming movements. I particularly enjoy practicing qigong and T’ai chi, an ancient art form that takes me to a calm place and quiets the mind while heightening awareness of balance and strength. When I close my eyes, the coordinated movement of body parts becomes an effortless task. With the body opened correctly the student can feel the energy, or chi, flowing. I intend to continually learn and improve on this exercise and am grateful to be taught by one who has learned from the classical masters before him, Master William Ting, of Silver Tiger Tai Chi, in Burlington. He is the real deal.
Recently, I also learned about the subtle yet incredible rewards of walking a labyrinth. Another ancient form of walking meditation, moving through a labyrinth also works to clear away stresses and instill a feeling of wellness. It is less about navigating a maze than rather walking a path of truth. As I walk in, I am aware of releasing the accumulated blocks and encumbrances life can bring. At the center I open up my being seeking guidance for specific needs. As I walk out, I allow all new feelings and resolutions received to become part of life. A smile often accompanies my return walk. Everyone experiences something different; I have observed that no one leaves without stirred emotions and feelings.
I am glad to now serve as a trained facilitator for labyrinth walking. I enjoy showing others how to peacefully progress along these magnificent designs of sacred geometry. As a landscape architect I expect to offer my installation talents for new labyrinths so that more people can experience this journey.
A community labyrinth is an apt complement to the practice of yoga, and local studios are honoring National Yoga Month in September. Each studio offers its own blend of yoga styles, poses, music and meditations. We invite you to try them out and find the best fit for you; please consider our advertisers first, whose loyal support makes this free magazine possible.
I hope you are finding fresh ways to release and inspire your own life, and share your story with others in need. We are all in this together, reaping the blessings of paying it forward.
Don Moore, Publisher