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There is an instant affinity and connection when stepping into the trail. A distinct sense of being welcomed with joy, even by the mosquitoes! A sense of delight in the meeting, in the coolness of the slate-lined river bank and the breeze and the ocean of green come ashore. A sense of peace in the silent flow of the river whose bottom can be clearly seen in this late afternoon in the light of the filtered sun that remove all your troubles so that you can focus on the expanse of the invitation that lies in front of you…

And then, after you have spent at least a half hour playing among the stones of the river bed, weaving in the trails and bathing in the foliage of the forest, the river-side offers you a place to pause and rest. You gratefully accept. As you sit on the trail bench, there is something about the slant of sunlight on the trees, and the river’s peace, that prompts you to do a first-time-ever evening meditation in that space. The path has unfolded before you.

You are sitting amid the noise of the traffic and people walking on the trail behind you… and yet, after a while, all you hear primarily is the river rustling by and the wind whispering among the trees. The sun filters through the trees behind you and sends warm currents up and down your spine. And then, after what seems like an eternity, and yet is actually less than a dozen minutes, it happens.

You remember Dad and his ability to submerge into stillness and silence in the midst of it all. You realize that That is what he was communicating to you all that time, on all those days-long train trips across India, the road trips in the far reaches of the Himalayas, when as a child you wished that he would speak more words of wisdom into you. He was showing you that the path to a higher Union, the path to awareness, truth and bliss, goes through the deep silence and stillness that quietens the waves created by the “mind stuff” — the path that Patanjali defines as the practice of Yoga.

Pay attention. Do your workings in and for the world, but also do the work needed to walk your path towards higher Union. That has been the message filtering into my heart over the past week or so, and re-iterated in Friday evening’s walk. I am grateful to be sharing the loving message with you. Namaste.

Kumud

P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering and twitter chat, Sunday June 19 at 9amET / 1pmGMT / 630pm India. I will bring some tea, fruit and questions – you bring your favorite walking shoes 🙂 – AjmaniK

P.P.S To all who are celebrating, Happy Father’s Day and Happy Juneteenth on June 19. International Yoga Day and Summer Solstice is June 21. Get ready 🙂

The walk is rarely easy… and yet, always worth it! (Rocky River Reservation, Ohio)