Friday, April 15, 2011

Walk Pilgrim Walk

I think about the most insistent/persistent/consistent thing which I have done in my life, and the answer is clear.
I have walked. I walk and as long as my legs shall support my breadth, I shall walk.
I have been told that I started using my legs, exactly on the day of my first birthday. I could stand and walk in one go, and I am thankful for this grace bestowed. For this is one of the fondest and most meditative acts which I have been able to do time over with relish.

Walking is at some level genetic, instinctive and eventual in any humans life. Those of us who haven't been able to enjoy walking for one reason or other (mostly laziness) can never enjoy the true carnal pleasure of wanderlust. Of absolute freedom from direction or rules. Freedom to go where one pleases, when one wants and when one chooses!

I am not a big fan of man-made transport. Its needed in concrete jungles where walking is sheer pain rather than pleasure. But when we have the open space above and beyond us to explore. Then the walk becomes the goal-less goal. The pathless path. The meditative spiritual state of reality- where the truth is that there is no walker- there is no walk- there is no path. There is just one-ness.

I know for sometime now- that when pilgrims/walkers are able to go long distances (just like myself); they experience special peaceful states (theta brain wave states) which are absolutely the same states which lucid dreamers and meditation experts can extract.

There are many pilgrimages in India (way too many), and its really wonderful to walk ways which lead through Indian rural sceneries to places of power, the act of walking is so slow and strenuous that in a period of time; the pilgrim starts experiencing a slower pace of the mind. He starts with viewing the external world in a slower light (try it.. cause the only way most of us know how to move is with a car/bike/mechanical transport- which takes us through our visual externals at a faster pace, but walking is so slow- that it allows you to change your scenery at a constant slow pace- inducing visual delight to the pilgrim to enjoy and understand the external world around us, while enjoying the internal rapture of walking meditation).


There is a beautiful movie on walking pilgrimage which I recently saw, its called "the way" starring martin sheen in a very composed and strong lead.  He walks the ancient pilgrim road- "The way of St. James" or the "El Camino de Santiago"  spanning over 800 km's. The movie is a sheer visual delight as they show a lot of pit stops which the pilgrims go through as they make their way to the holy ruins of apostle St. James located in the west most point of spain in gallacia. The entire route is laden with holy power places where pilgrims can rest and contemplate. Most pilgrims walk to and from santiago atleast once in their lives.
I loved the movie which was able to show case the serenity and rest that a wanderlust-ing pilgrim on his way to his maker feels. There is no maker on this earth, but there are such beautiful natural power-places strewn all across- that its quite literally a sin not to walk on our feet and explore the beauty of this green earth!
And that is what walking is for all its worth. Its that innocent sense which most us city dwellers have left far behind... Imagine being able to walk amidst dense jungles, or snow peaks or uninhabited islands, or green misty valleys and so much more... exploring and seeing things for the very first time! Thats what nature's grand vision to teach us is... to show us the beauty of heavens right here on earth, but these beautiful mysterious grand visions won't come to us if we sit and slack inside our 4 wall cubicles. These mysteries and visions are not there on a road map or even on a road... they are there where man has yet not visited, and I assure you that our mother-this earth has many many places like this. Completely invisible to the fool, and only pleasing those who work hard and walk silent without expectations!

Walking makes one a man! It brings patience and faith of a just path/goal. It brings strength and endurance to stop the world/or atleast slow the world (stopping the world- quite literally stopping what the external is projecting). Walking brings out being and character. It is a conversation (not a monologue) which one has with oneself. It results in ending of the conversation, replaced by the true state of one-ness.
Walking appeases the beast in man, It cures wanderlust and the diseases which ravage the mind and body. Depression and insomnia, obesity and lust, materialism and hedonism. Everything is balanced when one walks with his walking stick (you can see ancient iconography of most gods of ancient lore- and you will see that most carry a walking power stick in some form or other). Everything remains in perfect equilibrium... this realization so strong and in grand magnitude hits the enduring pilgrim, who walks day and night; sun and star to no end and to the end of the world for the pleasure of it.

I love to walk. I love to see this beautiful perfect Earth through my eyes, No I wont have it- that someone else will tell me about what is what without me seeing it for the very first time myself, and this is what walking is eternally. Seeing and being for the very first time. Like never before. It couldn't be so without the strength in my legs and the fire in my heart. It could be only so... with the wind in my hair and my eyes in awe twinkling like stars! Feels like seeing things for the very first time!

Peace


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