To avoid the most common frustration I hear in my meditation class and elsewhere– let’s skip the sit all together today, shall we? No need to force your mind to be empty. Instead, walk.

And try out this delightful, simple, easy practice from Thích Nhất Hạnh, master of mindfulness and all things good:

Oui + Merci.

Listen here.

Oui + Merci_Walking Meditation

On the inhale you say “oui…oui….oui” and the exhale “merci….merci…..merci.”

We say yes to life. And thank you.

But wait doesn’t it have to be harder than this? Um, no.

Actually it turns out that being kind to yourself and treating this meditation project as play is so much more likely to open the space for you to grow into a new routine this summer. So if you need a metric, something to keep an eye on, rather than noticing how many thoughts you have (which are actually evidence of stress leaving your body…more on that next week) — could you instead observe how kind you are to yourself?

How kind are you when you miss a day of meditation? Or aren’t able to do your practice when you planned? Or find yourself distracted and in need of redirection to the mantra and the footstep?

Might you be even kinder to yourself next time?

Kindness is the secret sauce for any kind of inner growth.

And Now Choose Your Commitment!

Meditation reconnects you to your sense of choice and freedom in each moment: freedom to enjoy your life, freedom to be with what is here, freedom to begin again.

Engage your sense of choice as you design your practice this week.

Take a moment right now, a few breaths, close your eyes and feel into your body. What is the right commitment for you?

Could you do this walking meditation for 10 minutes every day?

Or maybe 3 times a week? Or just once right now?

Could you begin to play around with different times of day to see what works best for you?

If you already have a regular sitting practice, perhaps you want to add this in as an evening practice or before you sit?

Share your commitment in a reply to the post. What you share may be just the inspiration another needs to hear. Share it with a friend and on social media (Don’t forget to tag me + use #summerofmeditationchallenge).

Social accountability helps to make it real.

While the gold standard for rewiring your brain with meditation is 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks, the benefits come much sooner and even with smaller doses.

And the best meditation is the one you do. Oui? Oui.

And merci.


Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life. The Challenge starts Friday June 17th.

Xo Courtney

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and MindBody practices as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at