The post below was originally published in 2011, and it's been updated each year to reflect where I am in my life and the new...Read More
Walking Your Path
Our kundalini instructor Robin gave us a prompt for a visualization in class last week, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since.
She had us close our eyes and visualize a path. There were no specifics other than that at first: just visualize a path.
I immediately thought of the hiking trail in Tennessee Valley, in Marin County, California. This is what the trail looks like as you start your meander from the trailhead to the Pacific:
Then Robin suggested that we engage our other senses — that we feel the ground beneath our feet, that we see and hear what was around us. I could almost hear the scritch-scritch of the sandy gravel under my feet. I could see the birds making lazy, diving circles in the sky. I could feel the sun shining on my face. It was all-together pleasant.
Then Robin said a few words that transformed the experience from pleasant to powerful.
Trust your path, and know that sometimes, you won’t know exactly where you’re going, but you stay on the path. Trust your path — keep putting one foot in front of the other. The path may curve and meander. You might come to a place where you need to make a decision about which fork in the path to take. But whichever you choose, you will be on your path. Sometimes the steps might be uncomfortable; the sky may grow cloudy, the path may become shady or rocky. But eventually, the sun will shine, the path beneath your feet will become smooth. Trust your path.
We used the visualization at different times throughout the class to keep us focused and engaged during meditation. Sometimes, my perspective of myself on the path was my point-of-view: when I looked down, I saw my feet in the dirt. When I glanced around, I saw the brilliant blue sky and rolling green hills.
Other times, I saw myself from above, a zooming shot from the clouds. I looked small, but determined. I saw myself committed, moving with intention toward… I don’t know. The future? Destiny? Or maybe just a really good snack?
As we moved through class, I moved further along the path. Sometimes I tromped up the hillside…
And I realized that in Tennessee Valley, the path ends at the beach. But it’s not really the end, is it? A wanderer can turn north and climb the rocks to see what’s on the other side. Or head south to scramble over the headlands and find what lies beyond.
Trust your path and accept that sometimes, you won’t know exactly where you’re going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.