I grew up in the Himalayan mountains where walking a few miles was an essential, quotidian affair in keeping with the way of life. That’s when I inculcated love for walking. It persisted with me for the most part except some unavoidable short breaks here and there.
Gradually, at some point, age caught up with me. I became more relaxed but lazy. I mellowed down but became negligent. Understood better but began to forget. My imagination worked overtime. I blamed it all on the blues that pester you at the threshold of old age. Walking on the road, I would get seized by this strange feeling of being lonely and abandoned. It depressed me and I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. And it was. It had to be taken care of.
I waited. Then a friend agreed and we began our morning walk once again. It continued for a while till she had to go on a holiday. She exhorted me not to give up walking. As for me , I didn’t want to break a nice routine. Diffidently, I decided to take a chance even though I was scared of being overpowered by that old feeling.
Next morning, I stepped out of my house, extremely aware and watchful about how I was going to fare. As I concentrated on walking, I started listening to my mind and feeling the body movements. As if in a trance, I felt like a spirit embodied in an island being washed by waves on all sides. I was not alone. It was me, my body and my mind in sync and that made three of us together! At that moment, almost imperceptibly, I became a happy, wholesome person with this sudden urge to smile and say good morning to everyone who passed by.
It was one of those simple but extraordinary experiences which are akin to an epiphany, a match struck in the dark, a lasting, path breaking influence. It awakened me to the fact that ‘alone’ is a state of being and ‘lonely’ a state of mind. And if you are sincerely engaged in conscious self analysis, sooner or later the answers will come from within and take you a step closer to self realisation.
The seminary called life can spring surprise tests any time and mind like an unruly, wayward child is prone to give instant silly answers. This can spell trouble. To avoid this, keep up a constant dialogue with your mind. Control it, check it from going astray, discipline and educate it till it becomes capable of getting all the right answers. That done, your life will get purged of all discord as the real purpose of being in this school dawns on you. You learn that everything happens for a reason – even failure and it belongs to you and is because of you and you rise above the blame game and find a way to take charge of your life and walk on.