Madhuri shares a meditation we can do while we are on a walk.
You know how, when you are walking in some beautiful place – in woods, or by the sea, or up on moors, or through a park… sometimes a certain view will catch you? You have just put your foot out to step forward, when a precise viewing-angle shows you a certain picture: light slanting through trees just so; a ray of sun, come down through clouds, shines on a shifting sea, just so. A tree at your right frames the path ahead of you; or you see green grass with a filled-up look about it, as if it is so green it is stuffed with green-ness, a particular rich glowing sort of color… but framed by trees darker and more solemn and old.
Or perhaps you see a house and the roof slants just so, the colors of the paint lifting out warmly from a backing of forest. Or maybe there is a stream, and the light and the angle of your view shows you a slice of its burbling life, in a painterly way that delights you, reaches out to you somehow. Or a huge panorama from a hillside, where you stand lifted up above a valley, throws open a door in you where the melancholic light from the grey sky suddenly has access to your inner body.
But it is always a certain angle – a lift of the foot onwards and the special view is lost.
I first really noticed this ‘precise angle’ phenomenon when I was working in the far north of Norway in the summer. I walked a lot between sessions, and found myself stopping to take in certain things: somebody’s duvet being aired over a second-floor balcony rail, a swath of color down the dark wood siding.
And I just had to stop and stare. […]
A piece from the Appendix of Madhuri’s memoir, ‘Mistakes on the Path‘. Photo credit to the author.
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