On a Mindful Path
On a Mindful Path (Cont.)
I decided to add nonverbal activities to my braided practice of journalism, meditation and deep reading. The daily practice of the four disciplines, with a nonverbal activity such as a walk, strengthened my writer’s voice. I felt more grounded and in the process was more attentive to what was going on around me.
I was attentive to the things and people that enhanced my days. Gradually and carefully I stopped doing things that seemed unimportant and distanced myself from the people who I thought kept me away from making progress on my mindful journey.
In time, I realized that I had awakened a voice within that I did not know had always been there. It was similar to a personal consultant who knew me more than I knew myself. The practice helped me awakened this dormant voice which, in turn taught me to pause before reacting to anything negative. It whispered the truth of situations. The more I paid attention to it the stronger the communication became.
Long before I began the braided practice of the four disciplines what I now call Writing Meditation Practice I had I taught Buddhist and Hindu Art at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1997, I along with 38 other faculty members and 700 students, we voyaged around the world with the University’s Semester-at-Sea program. The experience of a lifetime.
After I returned and on the day of my 53rd birthday I quit teaching. There were many reasons for this. One of which was the question that had popped up in my mind while journeying the globe. What would be more meaningful to me than teaching the same courses day in and day out?
I have discussed parts of my experiences at the Semester-at-Sea in the volume, Unblock Your Creative Flow: 12 Months of Mindfulness for Writers and Artists. (Published April 2023).
To be continued.
Photo: With a Buddhist Monk in Kyoto, Japan, Semester-at-Sea