The Path Under My Feet

Apr 9, 2005

If there is frequently asked question, it is this: why walk?

One, to observe reality at a human pace. Move over palm-pilots, it is time to go at the speed of two feet. Everything is slow, deliberate and intentional. Todo-lists turn into undo-lists. Lighter your load, wider the smile. Arrogance of security loosens its grips and slowly gives birth to humility of the unknown. The more you unwind, the deeper you experience. In place of wasting energy figuring out your plans, accept whatever comes; because in the end, each circumstance is a mirror of what is already in your heart.

Two, to experience moments not events. Instead of pressing on the accelator, yield to the cows and admire their grace; instead of being an absent minded consumer, greet the vegetable vendors as fellow pilgrims of life; instead of ignoring the stare of kids, smile at the little ones who have never seen grown-ups with back-packs; instead of ignoring poverty or shelling out a rupee of guilt, connect with the source of that poverty within you. An uninterrupted, commercial-free play with nature; it is you and your consciousness together at last.

Three, to deepen your awareness. Witness that you are not separate from your pain or the celestial hues of sunlight that cross the fields at sunrise. Learn how nature works with abundance, without any need for accumulation; the crows skip with two feet, the camels bob around without moving their heads, the monkeys stare as if it's a new show each time. Need, not greed. Understand the simplicity of cause and effect. You serve, you get served. No images, no theories, no complications. Just instant karma. When you put it all on the line, there is no choice but to go deeper.

Yet, walking is painful. Your feet hurt, your body aches at the thought of not knowing if you will have lunch, the bag on your back feels heavier than it is, the soles of your feet are hot even with your sandals on. You are frustrated but don't know the source of your frustration. You miss the comforts of home, or even a plain ol' city. Everyday, you start from scratch. Every person is a new encounter. No business cards, no glory from the past to rescue you. This is you and your mind, facing off. There is no victory, no defeat; and ultimately, there is no reason left to even do this.

Then you breathe. You take another step. One foot rests while the other moves forward. Then you breathe a real breath.

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