Sunday, July 01, 2012

Walking Around the Mind

I usually leave my home at around 5:15 am to begin my morning walk in the summer months.  It is cool, quiet, and the air is sweet and clear in the early morning hours.  I walk about 3.6 miles.  A good portion of my walk is at an unhurried, easy, and steady pace.  I use some of my walking time for meditative or spiritual practices (Sadhana).  Just the walk itself is a spiritual practice.  

Before I begin my walk, I use a Calling the Quarters ritual for honoring and acknowledging the sacred space of my environment.    

Enjoy your walk as if you were drinking water when you are thirsty, or eating a plum when you are hungry, or making love when lust overcomes you. 

Today, when you walk, try the following imaginative exercise.  Some might call it a contemplative exercise or meditative practice.

Keep your eyes open so as to walk safely, but don't focus or stare at particular objects.

Imagine what you look like from above if you were in a balloon at various altitudes looking down at yourself walking on the earth.

Imagine what you look like from below and in front of you if you were a small animal or insect seeing you approaching them.

Imagine what you look like from the sides as you walk along.  Vary the distance from you as a walker and the imaginative person or animal looking at you. 

Imagine what you look like from behind as you walk away from the viewer.  What does your backside look like from 10 meters, 100 meters?  

Imagine what you would look like walking in a different season of the year?  We are imbedded in the context of the world, other things, the ground, our place, the season, in the sunlight - and we are seen walking in such contexts.  

Imagine looking within your body and seeing your heart beating, blood flowing through your arteries and veins, your lungs rising and falling, your muscles contracting and relaxing.  

If the imaginative "viewer" were at a great distance, could "It" even see you moving?  

Draw your attention to how your walking body would look from various angles and distances.  As you shift your viewing perspectives, does your mind change?
Imagine yourself as a viewer, witness, and observer removed from your body.

Who is the "self" that can imagine in this manner?  Is it your ordinary mind, your ego, your social self, an outpouring of your material essence; or, is the "It" or the "That" which is self-aware that is something more profound, more expansive, more miraculous?  Are "you" doing the imagining?  Is it the vast interdependent matrix of beings that can imagine, reflect, witness itself?  Is imagining another form of seeing; or, seeing just another form of imagining?  
Play with these questions and ideas.  Mull over them.  Smile.  Walk on. 

"Wherever you are is the entry point."
-  Kabir

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