Madhu Bazaz Wangu | Some Musings and A Contemplative Walk
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Some Musings and A Contemplative Walk

Some Musings and A Contemplative Walk

Good Morning!

We all have experienced acts of love, compassion and humility amidst the current confusing, divisive, devious and callous socio-cultural environment.

Here are three of my experiences:
One August morning in West Virginia my husband and I went on a four-hour scenic train ride. We sat near a window on a table for four where we were introduced to a young couple. Together we took pleasure in the scenery, chatted, laughed and ate. It was Maryanne and Bernie’s fifteenth wedding anniversary. They were planning to celebrate it with dinner at an expensive restaurant that evening.For dinner we went to a place with the view of the mountains. The wine and the food were delicious. When it was time for us to pay the bill, the waitress said it had already been paid by a couple whom we had befriended on a train ride that day.

One late morning after the death of my brother, father and mother within eighteen months I sat near my bedroom window staring into the front garden of Linda, a neighbor who lived across the street. As I was bemoaning the deaths of my loved ones the doorbell rang. I opened the door to find the neighbor holding a bouquet of colorful cut blossoms from her garden.

One day in Spain we were strolling along a beach. A young sculptor was finishing the tenth and the life size figures of the world’s greatest artists. Impressed by the fantastic images molded in sand I said, “You should add your own image to the row.” He shook his head in disbelief and smiled humbly.

Yesterday as I walked the trails of McConnells Mill State Park, once again I was reminded how walking mindfully integrates body, heart and mind. Touching the ground made me feel energetic and alive. In THE LONG ROAD TURNS TO JOY, Thick Nhat Hanh writes, “When we practice walking meditation beautifully, we massage the earth with our feet and plant seeds of joy and happiness with each step.” I paid close attention to each breath and to each step. The temperature was 45 degrees. The ground, the boulders and the fallen trees were covered with strewn fall leaves. After I warmed up, I dedicated one step at a time to the memory of my mother, my father, their mothers and fathers. Then I paused. I continued to walk earnestly dedicating steps to my husband, our daughters, their husbands, our grandchildren and for all of you who bring sunshine to my mornings by practicing with me. I imagined my footprints leaving behind flowers: white lilies for those who are gone, a red rose for my husband, pink lotuses for our daughters, magenta lilies for their husbands, white and pink hyacinths for our grandchildren and multicolored carnations for all of you. My imagination created a vibrant picture. I had to pause again. I turned around to look. A field of rainbow-colored flowers had unfurled behind me. My heart blossomed.

For much of our long walk I repeated to myself, “I am here now.” “I am home.” “I am my Authentic Self.” Thick Nhat Hanh writes that walking meditation becomes more mindful and enjoyable when practiced with meaningful words. “You become more solid. As you become more solid, you become more free.” The more you walk the happier you become. With each mindful step your solidity and freedom grow.

Thick Nhat Hanh suggests smiling as you walk. I did. From time to time I would forget but when I remembered I smiled. A smiling face brings calm and delight to your walking. He also teaches to exhale more than you inhale. “We never expel all the air from our lungs. There is always some left.” So, exhale longer than you inhale that way you will be able to push out more stale air. “After several months, your lungs will be healthier, and your blood will circulate better.”

After all the above thoughts and actions synced together guess what flooded to my mind? My current work in progress, UNPLUG YOUR CREATIVE FLOW: ENRICH YOUR DAILY LIFE. I continue to rearrange and revise the hundredth or so draft.

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