Movement is somehow related to the Soul. Tai Chi, a walk, joyous kitchen dancing, and driving support the free exchange of space of mind, emotions, and relating with the harmony of Nature.
As miles passed, I thought of families crossing the expanses of America in the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Everything they owned in one vehicle, little to no food, not knowing what would come of their journey and their sadness. They loped along at 35 miles an hour while I zipped at 70. What did they have to inspire them along their way? I had packed a few things to do just that: particular books, two thangkas (Manjushri and a framed golden Mother of the Buddhas), and a meditation cushion. I, too, don’t know what will come of the travel through several states leading to a meditation journey within. Our situations are different: an inner calling for me and theirs necessitated by dire circumstances.Yet at essence that distinction is a label in my mind of a set of experiences by both them and I. My heart goes out to refugees all over the world, homeless and hopeless.
Sitting for hours, watching everything go by, present in awareness: driving is a form of meditation The first day zen mind: a combination of long inner spaces with arisings of gratitude and an ocean of emotions, then inner silence again, complemented by The Great Bell Chant-Namaste as it would serenade my mind. That was the only music the first day, all from the inside.
The second day, three home made mixes from a friend played off and on through the nine hours of driving. The first song on the first disc had me sobbing again, first with gratitude for his kindness, then for appreciation of his gifts as a multi-dimensional multi-media artist, and then for the kindness of others making this journey possible. That made the tears really come as the drive became a long Now of so many people not so fortunate. The day was going to be one of many deep thoughts: inter-connectedness, all existence and therefore everyone being in “this” together, and the wish that this simple understanding of cause and result and of the source of well-being or suffering was shared by everyone. It’s a simple consideration: kindness begets kindness now and for lives to come, generosity creates ease, and respect elicits honor for all life forms. No one is hurt in this ever so possible livingness, everyone is nurtured, nothing is squandered, and greed would be non-existent. Life would be a thriving harmony of creativity with all needs met and less needs overall. This day of driving would be one of long fields of mono-crops, with MacDonalds and a coffee joint every three to five miles. Every service stop on the highway was a food desert with healthy food being a banana or apple, a pre-made wilted salad, or a healthy dose of sugar wrapped in a health bar wrapper.
People were terribly unhealthy, short tempered, and clearly unaware of the direct relation between food and well-being. I had soaked organic almonds before I left, had cut up organic celery sticks, packed extra water from Spirit Fire and some cage free hard boiled eggs. My body has MS, and the sources of that are many but one was ignorance and eating unhealthily for most of my life. I didn’t know and didn’t ask being a child of my times: butter became margarine, ours was a meat and potatoes home growing up, my first salad was after I moved out. Processed food was new and happy. We had no idea that under the guise of convenience so that moms could go to work, a tsunami of wrong was being created: wrong diets, wrong businesses, wrong ideals, wrong views of animals, plants, health, and workers. To reflect on it is upsetting but not disempowering. And because of that, I don’t have disdain or judgement for the condition of others but instead have sadness and the wish that each person realizes their fate and the choices that create it. No knowing is a great bane, a curse that cripples us in one life and which we carry unknowingly into the next.
The day’s drive included pondering the executives of MacDonalds, Monsanto, or the US government, as well. I pondered greed, its insatiability and its cancerous results. Our modern western world, its mentality, corruption, disease, and poverty are the poison ivy of greed. No goodness comes from it, no well-being. Prosperity is held out as a golden carrot of happiness, but that model of fulfillment is incapable of lasting and requires that one person’s happiness is at the expense of someone or something else.
I also contemplated the prosperity that I was living. Financial wealth is not mine, but there are many forms of abundance. Gratitude welled up again. Inter-dependence was making this trip possible, and simple kindness, generosity, and trust were its primary currency.