Over the last several sessions of my walking meditations I’ve saved several lives. Let me explain…
My routine has become an hour of walking everyday. During this time I am listening to a podcast (stoic in nature) and paying as much attention to the goings on around me. Nature, traffic (I live in a tourist town so there’s lots of that) and watching my steps as I go along. As a practicing Buddhist Stoic (Lean of course), I’m watching those steps with the intent as to not harm or kill anything as much as possible. Even what could be considered a lowly ant…yes I said ANT.
While listening to the podcast and sidestepping anthills and ants themselves. I remain aware that they’re no less a being than I. Who would I be to consider their life any more or less than my own? That would be hypocritical in my book. That ant, in his own right has his existence and has his work to do to climb the evolutionary or “Karmic” ladder. It all depends on one’s own belief and or the virtue/karma they sew into their own fabric of life. We all have our own reaping to do and should keep that in mind. Even while taking a simple walk down a lowly sidewalk.
Now I know I kill something with every step I take. Micro-organisms and I’m sure a few ants pay the price everyday whilst I lose my concentration and bank a karmic price for not stepping in a virtuous manner. No one is perfect. Not I…not the ant. Who’s responsibility was it to avoid the loss of life? Mine for not paying attention for the brief moment or the ant for not seeing something my size coming and avoiding the situation from his end of the experience. That depends on your point of view or your belief structure. I will go with…we SHARE the experience and will both bare the costs. The ant payed a far higher price than me.
So, while your out going about your business. No matter what that may be. Pay attention. You never know what or whos life you may save. Maybe even your own.
Walk in peace, Kevin “Doc” Burgess (The Lean Stoic)