One Step Beyond


Ep 13: 'Still' Running

Ep. 13

Welcome to Episode 13 of One Step Beyond. This time around, we discuss ‘Still Running: The Art of Meditation in Motion,’ a new book by Vanessa Zuisei Goddard. I first met Zuisei in 2006, at the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, in the Catskills, where I was taught how to sit zazen - the form of meditation practiced there - by Zuisei herself. But Zuisei is also a runner, and for all that she has spent much of her life sitting zazen, she has never stopped moving. I would often see her running on the local roads and knew that that she held ‘running retreats’ at ZMM - and yet we never talked in detail about our shared love of this physical exercise.

In 2019, after two decades at ZMM, Zuisei resumed lay life, moving to New York City to become a writer and teacher. And when ‘Still Running’ was published this summer by Shambhala – with a front cover endorsement by ultra-marathon legend Scott Jurek - I knew instinctively that I had to read it and bring her on this show.

Zuisei’s wonderful little book is extra helpful because while it discusses Buddhism, each chapter ends with a physical practice that applies to anyone and everyone, of any domination and for almost any physical endeavor. For One Step Beyond, we spoke by phone, discussing life in a Buddhist monastery and beyond, and more specifically, the practices she describes in her book. You will hear me undertake and report back on some of these practices.

We also discuss the tradition of extreme running within Buddhism, as evidenced in the isolated Gompa Monks of Tibet, and the Marathon Monks of Japan. This gives me a reason to dig out an LP of Tibetan Ritual Music that I had owned for 30 years and somehow never opened; perhaps it was just waiting for the perfect moment.

You can find Still Running at all good book shops or through the publisher, Shambhala. If you order online, please consider supporting your local independent store in the process; you can do so in the US by using


Zuisei can be found at, and on Instagram and Facebook as zuiseigoddard

The Zen Mountain Monastery, which has been offering online programs in 2020 during the pandemic, is at

The incidental music in this episode is:

‘Offering to the Savior Gompo’ and ‘Invocation of Gompo from the LP Tibetan Ritual Music by Lamas and Monks, recorded in Sikkim in 1961 for the Lyrichord label.

The 'Easy, Light, Smooth, Fast' mantra I cite is from Barefoot Ted as referenced in Born To Run. Barefoot Ted went on to make the Luna Sandals that we featured in Episode 11: Take a Step Outside Your... Shoes?

For questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail


Join One Step Beyond on social media at:

Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcast

Facebook is One Step Beyond with Tony Fletcher

Twitter is OneStepBeyondP1

And your host can be found here:

All links can be found at




More Episodes


Ep. 18: Not the Samos It Ever Was

Ep. 18
One Step Beyond launches 2021 with a two parter about two people who refused to let the pandemic of 2020 prevent them making planned life changes. In part 1, Adam Fletcher - yes, he is a relation - talks about his volunteer work with asylum seekers on the Greek island of Samos, and why it has inspired him to hang up his career as a touring musician, including lucrative work in a touring Abba tribute band, and go back to college to become a doctor. In an interview conducted from the Island of Samos on New Year's Eve, Adam talks about the conditions faced by the refugees on the island, many of whom have been living in squalor for years now, the work of various charities and NGOs, and why he feels blessed and privileged to have the opportunity to spend time with them, and to embark on a fresh career.Some of the articles mentioned in this Episode: short monthly Soundcloud podcast hosted by Medequaliteam. Also: list of NGOs and charities typically operating on the island of Samos, as supplied by Adam Fletcher:Action for EducationAvocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France)The Flying Seagulls ProjectGlocal RootsHelp Refugees / Choose LoveIndigo VolunteersMed’Equaliteam(this is the NGO Adam currently volunteers for)Movement on the GroundPrecious Plastic SamosProject ArmoniaProject TENRefugee4RefugeesRefugee Law Clinic BerlinSamos VolunteersStill I RiseVerein FAIRThe One Step Beyond Supporter page (i.e. the tip jar): questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found

Ep. 17: It's a Wonderful Life... On the Road

Ep. 17
In May 2016, halfway through my 3-person family's year-long backpacking trip around the world, we met the Norths - Phil, Amanda, Sophie and Nate - in Chiang Mai, Thailand. They had left their former Alaska hometown of Kenai behind for good in the fall of 2013. and would not resettle in the States until 2017. On this episode of One Step Beyond, I catch up with the the Norths - in their new hometown of Bellingham, Washington - for the first time in four and a half years. Sophie is now 17, Nate 15, and along with their parents, they talk candidly about their experiences, what they learned about the world at large and about themselves as a family, why they believe in 'slow travel', how they kept costs down, and why they think everyone should have the opportunity to travel internationally. For any family thinking of embarking on a long-term travel project, this is an empowering and encouraging story. Unlike other interesting people featured on this show, the Norths have nothing to promote. There is no social media to link to! However, if you would like to read more about the work that Phil North does in his environmental role with the Tulalip tribe residents in Washington State: other podcasts referenced on this episode are:All The Sh*t I've Learned Abroad, Episode 76: WorldTowningThe Runners World UK: When Joe Strummer Ran The London MarathonBaggage Claim: Travel Stories No One Tells. For questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found