All attention has to be given the ground step by step

In climbing where the danger is great, all attention has to be given the ground step by step, leaving nothing for beauty by the way. But this care, so keenly and narrowly concentrated, is not without advantages. One is thoroughly aroused. Compared with the alertness of the senses and corresponding precision and power of the muscles on such occasions, one may be said to sleep all the rest of the year. The mind and body remain awake for some time after the dangerous ground is past, so that arriving on the summit with the grand outlook—all the world spread below—one is able to see it better, and brings to the feast a far keener vision, and reaps richer harvest than would have been possible ere the presence of danger summoned him to life.

~ John Muir

Life is a journey sometimes walked in light and sometimes walked in shadow

Grandfather says this: in life there is sadness as well as joy, losing as well as winning, falling as well as standing. I do not say this to make you despair, but to teach you that life is a journey sometimes walked in light and sometimes walked in shadow.
~ from KEEP GOING by Joseph M. Marshall III
Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance
By Joseph M. Marshall III

Walking is a profound tool of healing

Walking is a profound tool of healing. When spirits droop and footsteps falter, walking awakens the healing powers of the human spirit, literally, with chemicals that change the way you feel...Whether the wound is physical, emotional, professional, or spiritual, a walk can ease the grip of hard times, delivering an antidote to despair. But each step requires an act of faith...When I catch my thoughts plowing through fears and doubts or unanswered questions as I walk, I've developed the habit of responding politely but firmly… Thank you, but not now. Right now, I am here and I am walking. Then I return to awareness of my breath or my footsteps. It's a practice that allows me to acknowledge my lively thought processes and then choose to redirect my focus.
~ from HEALING WALKS FOR HARD TIMES by Carolyn Scott Kortge

I Taught Myself To Live Simply

I taught myself
to live simply and wisely
To look at the sky
and pray to God
and to wander long
before evening
to tire my
superfluous worries.

~ Anna Akhmatova

Staggering meditation

I sat and thought about inventing "staggering meditation." I decided that I would go for a walk, and rather than take my "stick" along as a necessary evil and out of anxiety over falling, I would "invite" my cane to be my helper… For so many years, because of my anger, I deprived myself of support I needed to be fully mobile...I have come to an awareness that my companion is a gift that helps connect me not only with the ground, but also with the many others who for a variety of reasons cannot walk easily, but who also stagger. When I am connected with these brothers and sisters, I no longer feel separated or left out. Rather than a reminder of a terrible past, I have uncovered a deep root of present meaning in the "tree" that I hug in my hand.

~ from "Staggering Meditation" by Vietnam vet Alan Cutter, in A JOYFUL PATH by Thich Nhat Hanh and friends

After the sitting

After the sitting
Stand and bow to the Presence
Slowly walk away.

~ Fr. John W. Groff, Jr.

We saunter toward the Holy Land

...So we saunter toward the Holy Land, till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever... shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, as warm and serene and golden as on a bank-side in autumn.

~ Henry David Thoreau in WALKING
By Henry David Thoreau

It does matter what energy we put out into the world

How can I stay completely present to this world—the light and the dark—while still keeping an open loving heart: Who ever promised me the world would be perfect...I need to set a different course by reminding myself that humankind has always been flawed...and Love and light continue to exist anyway. The news should simply inspire me to be extra loving and tender...Today I resolve to balance every dose of darkness I receive with an equal, if not greater, dose of light...I resolve to check the balance daily and provide myself with the silence and solitude I need to maintain it. I truly believe it does matter what energy we put out into the world.

~ Ann O’Shaughnessy, former co-editor of “Heron Dance,” founder of soulflares.org

Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond

The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary.

Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond.

~ Mark Nepo

I want the light locked inside to awaken

I want the light
locked inside to awaken:
crystalline flower,
wake as I do:
eyelids raise the curtain
of endless earthen time
until deeply buried eyes
flash clear enough again
to see their own clarity.

~ from Skystones by Pablo Neruda
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