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Spirit Walking

A slim March shower has washed down the path along Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove and clarified the air. The views are a spring dream; a palette brushed golden by sour grass and tangerine by poppies. The purple ice plant, or “magic carpet” as it’s touted to tourists, is just beginning to lather the rocks with light purple. The sweet musky smell is intoxicating. I revel in the season, was born in the season and want to dwell here forever.

I’m about half way through Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth” (No, I am not participating in Oprah’s workshop with him on-line. How the heck am I supposed to access my creamy center when I’m glued to a tech device? No, I’ve got to get out into nature, to smell the roses and feel the wind on my face.) 

OK, so I make a deal with myself: I’m going to stay COMPLETELY present to the moment as I take this one-hour walk. That’s where my true essence lies - beyond time and ego. I know this now. 

So here’s how it goes: “Little Surfer Girl” enters my head and no matter how hard I try, I cannot change the channel. The ocean sparkles true blue and a virginal white sailboat drifts by.

I see this momentarily but now, between “do you love me?” the channel injects, “How am I going to make a living? I’m just dreaming. My new career will never work out. I’m a fraud, an imposter. How can I teach others balance when I’m teetering on the edge of madness myself?” 

Sandwich in a few more channels: “Should I ask $___ thousand for my car crash settlement? When is the blinking auto dealership going to rid me of the nasty chemical smell in my car?"

I stop, face the sun, curve my arms around it as I “breathe in peace” and exhale “monkey mind.”

I think it’s working. I can see the sea daisies at my feet.

 And then this couple comes walking toward me. “Why is it always me who has to move over when people walk abreast? Am I a wimp, or what? I’m going to keep my shoulders straight and see what happens."

There is a narrow escape as I hop off the path to let them pass.

Now my ego is building a case against them so I repeat, silently so as not to be taken off in a straight jacket, “I am not my thoughts. I am neither right nor wrong. All is well. The universe is unfolding just as it should. It doesn’t need my help. I am at peace, I am whole, I am.

Now I can focus on the sound of the surf colliding with the seawall and barking seals and mewing sea otters and . . . “Dang! I forgot my acupuncture appointment yesterday. Koji is going to kill me. He hates me to be late, not to mention AWOL.  And when will this back of mine ever be right. I knew I shouldn’t have twisted when I lifted. I know better. It happens every time, etc., etc.”

I am my pain body.

The hour has almost passed and I realize I haven’t been “present” (remember, the present is the gift).  So, I choose a bench with some dead person’s name on it, and sit. I even pinch my fingers together like a true swami.

First I look at a frothy wavelet just beyond my nose. Then my eyes slowly close and I concentrate on my breathing (huff, puff) . . . “Is that an irregular heart beat I hear? Blip, blip. Uh-oh, I knew this thumping sound I’ve been having in my ears means a heart problem. I’d better get straight to the doctor, do not pass go do not collect $200.”

After winding down my deeply spiritual walk, I encounter two girlfriends at the deli. Hugs go all the way around.

“Well, I just did my stay-present-in-the-moment-the power-of-now walk and guess what?”

Their mouths smile, their eyes are riveted.

“Out of the hour, I was able to shut off my mind for about three minutes.”

I’m feeling pretty sheepish when these enlightened women say in unison, “That’s good! Way to go! It’s a start.”
P.S. This reminds me of something my pocket angel, Annie, recently told me. “Friends are the ones who, when you make a fool of yourself, don’t consider it a permanent condition . . .”



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