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A thirty minute walk around noon – the wind was calm when I embarked, and was even behind me a bit when I went out. But as I turned around in the far cul-de-sac in the new phase of the development, there was a distinct shift… and I was suddenly walking uphill, the wind picking up and biting into my cheeks, scuffing my lips, tearing up my eyes till they bled salt. And yet, in the midst of all this, I noticed that the mind had been strangely be-calmed, focused by itself without any effort on my part. It seemed like the mind had been frozen into a simple single thought, a single goal, a single ideal.. to somehow will the body, make it endure so that I would get back home, walking head-first through this freezing change…

Voluntary Simplicity and Walking Practice

And as I made the turn to home in that half circle that has the infinite at it’s center, I somehow decided to keep on walking, still head-first into the biting wind that might have now even picked up a notch… for I knew, or at least hoped, that the worst was probably behind me. I voluntarily walked in the belief that most of the rest of the walk that would unfold, unplanned as my ‘route’ often is, would be filled with the grace of the full-moon rising. I took refuge in the knowing that there are two phases to every journey…

The two simple phases of life are of light and darkness, like the waxing and the waning fortnights of the moon. The two phases are like the wind beneath your wings that uplifts you, and the same wind that turns on you and cuts delicate icicles on your face. Very often, we voluntarily keep walking, knowing that at the end of every phase, is an opportunity to change direction. On that thanksgiving morning, I walked with the simple truth that there is indeed a finite end to every waning, and even to waxing.

And as I walked with a half frozen smile, it dawned on me that every big and small journey, every walk that I choose to take, unfolds for me, something new. It is akin to every walking and sitting meditation that is now a part of my spiritual practice. How much more simple can a voluntary practice be? You wake up, you sit in a comfortable space, you relax the body, you focus on the heart, and… that is all. Voluntary simplicity. Every walk becomes a cycle within a greater cycle…

Simplicity of practice comes from what guides us, who we sit and walk with, and what we walk towards, or away from. Simplicity is when we become volunteers in working for, and with, joy, peace and light. It is the wholeness, the holistic nature of the process, that heals and uplifts us, and those around us. It is in volunteering, that we become like the light of the full moon, which finds its best expression when it is reflected in the clear blue lake of our arisen, awakened, conscious heart.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. What do you find simplicity in? Is your practice simple or complex? Does your practice feel voluntary or…? Join me as I host a twitter conversation on “voluntary simplicity” with the #SpiritChat community – Sunday, November 25th at 9amET / 7:30pm India. Dress warm, as we will walk some old and new paths… and who knows, we may even share some Thanksgiving day stories…