July 3, 2018 at 9:22 am #2924
This weekend nine of us walked silently on the hills, walking nine miles south (and up and down) and camping out, and walking nine miles back again.
July 3, 2018 at 9:22 am #2925
Encountering other beings on the Malvern Hills.
Often when we go through the world, even mindfully, we go as receivers – paying attention to what we are taking in, and to what we can take in.
How is it to know that we are also being taken in? Living beings notice our passing, we are watched as much as watchers. Perhaps more so – we have one pair of eyes, but are seen by many.
Even the world notices us passing through. The earth is affected by each footstep, the brambles and braken we brush through are left a little different after our passing.
And sometimes we are really met by other living beings. Being eye to eye with another creature, and knowing that you are seen can be a profound experience.
These beautiful cattle were not so interested in me, but later a cow in the shade of a hedgerow and I made eye contact and *something* passed between us.
July 3, 2018 at 9:23 am #2926
Beginning the ascent to British Camp on Saturday.
British Camp is an iron age fort. It’s one of the first places settled by herding communities. Walking around the ancient earthworks reminded me that the Buddha came from a herding community that had not long settled into farming in one place.
Dharmavidya suggests this adds an extra poignance to the story of the Buddha at the ploughing festival. When the Buddha witnesses the cutting of the earth, he isn’t just witnessing the violence in that moment, but seeing a transition from living pretty lightly on the earth to something else.
And of course he went on to create a community of forest dwellers, who lived without leaving much of a trace.
I’m sure much modern stress and psychological and physical ill health comes from how settled we are, and how removed we are from natural processes.
For me there was something profoundly healing about spending a weekend outside and giving my attention to the natural world.
July 4, 2018 at 3:53 pm #2929
Mindful Walking Weekend
One of our group used the word community in the final sharing circle. That was wonderful for me to hear – half of the group started as strangers and yet we came together and formed a harmonious group.
I’ve been reading Paul Knitter’s book ‘Without Buddha I could not be a Christian’, in it he talks about the Buddhist idea of emptiness as a making ourselves available to relationship. I love this idea – emptying out enough of our own self-preoccupation so that we can meet others. We can also turn it on its head of course: truly meeting others empties us of self-preoccupation.
#mindfulness #malvernhills #community
July 5, 2018 at 6:50 am #2930
Andrew Nicholls (Temple Host)Participant
Namo Amida Bu.
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