Moving into Stillness: Running as Meditation

A Weekend Retreat with Vanessa Zuisei Goddard

May 19-21, 2017

IDEAL FOR: All levels, including newcomers to running

[The Tarahumara] remembered that running was 
mankind’s first fine art, our original act of inspired creation.
— Christopher McDougall, Born to Run

Running for exercise is a relatively new discipline, and becoming ever more popular. In 2016 alone, over 65,000 million people in the U.S. said they run on a regular basis. The question is why? There’s running as sport, for weight loss, as therapy, or as a palliative. But is it possible to see running as moving meditation— as a way to deeply study our body and mind, to be fully present to ourselves and the wonder of our humanity?

In this retreat, we will use running as our focus to look at the dynamic dance between stillness and movement. We will:

  • Look at posture, breath, and concentration to see how we can run faster, longer or more frequently without getting injured (regardless of your current fitness level)

  • Discuss intention, commitment, discipline, and the obstacles that get in the way of keeping up a consistent practice

  • Engage exercises that will help us remain embodied and connected, both to our physicality and to our changing thoughts and emotions.

  • Practice running as a form of moving meditation that is both accessible and deeply nourishing.

Previous experience is helpful but not critical. Please bring running clothes, shoes, a digital watch, and a water bottle. Guests will be responsible for driving themselves to the West Hartford Reservoir, a five minute drive from Copper Beech Institute. For more information visit:

This retreat will include a Saturday Night on Retreat Performance with The Conduit Center.

To learn more about all the offerings included in this retreat experience, view a sample schedule.

Tuition is $250 plus accommodations. This retreat begins Friday, May 19 with an optional all-levels yoga class at 5 p.m. and concludes on Sunday, May 21 around 1 p.m. This program is eligible for Boundless Heart Fund Scholarships. Apply for a scholarship here.

20% discount off tuition and accommodations for running groups of 5 or more and for Fleet Feet West Hartford customers. To make your reservation with 20% discount, please contact our main office at

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Friday May 19
5:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Includes tuition, private accommodations and meals for two nights. (Tuition: $250 + Accommodations: $225)
Includes tuition, private bath, accommodations and meals for two nights. (Tuition: $250 + Accommodations: $500)
Commuter. (Tuition: $250 + Commuter Fee: $75)
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Event registration summary
Moving into Stillness: Running as Meditation:
Private Room with Hall Bath
Private Room with Private Bath

Presenter Profile

Vanessa Zuisei Goddard
Vanessa Zuisei Goddard is a Dharma Holder and senior lay student in the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism and the Director of Operations of Dharma Communications, Zen Mountain Monastery’s educational and outreach arm. Zuisei has been running for more than 30 years. For the last 20 years, she has actively explored the relationship between running and meditation.



Zen And The Art Of The Running Mind, Yoga City, 6/28/16 
Mindful running is a way to bring the stillness of meditation into everyday life.

Meditation In Motion: Learning The Art Of Running Zen, Brooklyn Magazine, 5/20/16
On clarifying intention—for running and all aspects of life.

Meditation Plus Running as a Treatment for Depression, New York Times, 3/16/16 
Meditation and exercise have synergistic effects on study participants.


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