Ooh, it's good to be back. Not that I've been far - simply enjoying being home. It's raining today yet, despite the dull grey sky, colours seem more vibrant than usual. The puddles are clear and the piles of autumn leaves are bright. Wearing wellies and a full set of very light waterproof clothing I'm feeling ready. Even my camera case comes with its own cagoule attached!
Today I remember my original intention on The Path, that is, to experience the benefits of walking in nature, in silent meditation. The clean air, the sense of connection, the insights, and the exercise. Nothing required of me except one foot gently in front of the other, and a little light awareness. Eventually, a question comes to mind. How on earth can I really expect to convey the utter beauty of the silent encounter in written form when words and language seem so limiting compared to the real, live experience? Suddenly I am struck by the realisation that what I intend to offer the reader is, well, essentially,...nothing.
As I continue to walk, it becomes increasingly difficult to deny what I have known for a while now. This walking experience would make so much more sense in the flesh. I want to be accompanying people through the woods on their own silent journeys. My idea of heaven! And yet, I notice apprehension around creating this dream of mine; walking alongside, requiring nothing, sharing the experience, perhaps sharing an insight or two afterwards. It strikes me it would require a deep sense of ground and connection, to be at peace earning a living without offering a physical product or necessarily visible results. Do I have the courage? I wonder. Could providing an opportunity to experience 'nothingness' really be enough? Can I get out of my own way long enough to take a leap of faith?
As I wander I am reminded of a time during my final year of psychotherapy training. I had reached a point of deep despair. It was something to do with ambition and the agony of trying to bring something into fruition. For a month or so, I just collapsed. Emotionally, more than physically, though that too. I could feel myself shaking to my core. Like all my beliefs were being rocked at once. At that point I did something I had never done before. I surrendered. With full awareness. I surrendered and I watched what unfolded. To my surprise, as I experienced myself at 'rock bottom', I noticed how quiet and calm it is down here. Dark. Lonely. And yet surprisingly restful. Letting go of all ambition turned out to be quite a relief. Hopelessness, a care-free experience. Is this what I've been afraid of all along? The reason I've been hanging on so tightly? While down here, I wondered if I would ever move forward again. I was in no hurry. As I continued to allow myself to rest in this aimless space something strange eventually happened. Being so still, with no intention of moving myself, I had a distinct sense of being moved. It was a little disconcerting at first. Was I being controlled? Taken over? What was this strange feeling? I realised it was a sense of flow, naturally guiding me forward. A physical experience of connection. Hey, this is pretty cool, I thought. I don't really have to do anything but relax and be carried. This experience taught me a valuable lesson: if you want to be moved, be still. Perhaps I am ready :-))
Trained in a depth, buddhist-based psychotherapy, using everyday outer world experiences to develop inner wisdom, one day at a time.