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Your Path is Made by Walking

May 27, 2021

The traveller and the path

Traveller, there is no path.
Traveller, your footprints
Are the path and nothing more
Traveller, there is no path,
The path is made by walking.

By walking the path is made
And when you look back
You'll see a road
Never to be trodden again.

Traveller, there is no path,
Only trails across the sea...

Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

We all are living our life path, whether consciously or not. Our walking - through actions, words, thoughts, intentions, codes of conduct, values - all reveal our unfolding individuality. We are simultaneously creating and traversing our unique path. Perhaps it is only after death that we can truly look back and panoramically view the pathless path that we have been walking.

Maybe some of us who say "I am on a path" will discover a kind of self-delusion. Certain self-images and intentions were imagined yet never actually walked/lived into existence. Their path unfolded differently.

Maybe some of us have no sense of walking a path in daily life, then, with hindsight will glimpse a trail across the sea in which each happening was part of a larger, if effervescent, story.

I don't know.

For me, path is not a destination like finding "G-d" or "enlightenment". Rather, path is a process, a way of walking - a commitment to certain values, intentions and attitudes that have primary significance. It is not about a goal, a "where", rather it is a "how", as in how does one walk. We formalize this practice in walking meditation - in the walking, the path is created!

Self-reflection is a key part of staying on track with one's path. As I get in bed at night, I look back on each day, noting with gratitude the many gifts that have been given to me as well as the various places I have not "walked my talk". I intend with clarity and warmhearted awareness, to see the many instances of not meeting the moment with a caring presence. This inspires my vow, my commitment, to do better tomorrow.

Traveller, there is no path.
The path is made by walking
What path are you walking today?

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