I was walking inside my apartment this morning–down the hallway and back up the hallway (focusing on body and balance) across the open prairie of carpet to the window and the single-digit urban snowscape of the world, looking out at it with soft eyes, turning back to the room (returning focus to body and balance) walking back to the hallway and starting the circuit again, when I noticed that I felt much more present in my body than the last time we walked, even noticed that my balance was markedly improved. I slowed my pace a little, felt even more aware of my feet, slowed a little more at the window to look out again at the trees and low buildings and traffic and snow-covered fast food dumpsters with soft eyes, turned back to the room, noticed my garden of three (bamboo, jade, and aloe), small but valiently green and healthy in mid-February, and I thought, “I don’t have to envy someone else’s garden, do I now, because you guys are my tiny garden, here in my tiny world, and you are doing great.” And I thought, thinking humor, to include the inside of my apartment as The World for the rest of my walk.
Do you see the next bit coming? I did not, because before that, I was just taking a walk. I had forgotten to stop pretending that separation is real. After that, I started meditating as a walk, and this is what I realized.
I am always walking in the world: on the street, hiking a trail, in my own bathtub.
If you had asked me to think about this, or discuss it with you, I would have recognized it right away, as something I already know–as a concept; but ask me to use my five senses to learn and interpret the world, and I would need to hire a toddler to show me how.
So I consciously decided to include SuziM world in The World, and noticed dishes waiting on the kitchen table, and seeing with soft eyes had the unexpected thought: “Look how much energy I put into feeding myself well.”
Next time round, I looked at not just my plants with soft eyes, but everything my gaze rested on. My too-many library books stacked and waiting, the yarn bag with a scarf that needs its ends tucked, then the clutter of tiny useful everything I absolutely must have in my sit-and-do-things spot, those scattered stone and clay and cloth bits of memory made sacred that I have managed to keep with me for years that are in themselves my altar, no matter where I am: this landscape is my soul claiming its right to inhabit the world, just as a fast food restaurant or a dumpster company or a strip mine is the sacred claim of another. This is part of what I learned today.
It seems like a lot for a half-hour walk indoors, but there it is.
I remember an early post here from a woman who made peace with her clutter. If you read this, know that I liked it when you wrote it, but I actually get it now!
May all beings be safe. May all beings be healthy. May all beings be happy. May all beings find enlightenment.