A few years ago as part of the Mindful Steps Walking Challenge, I invited Bhante Sujatha, a Buddhist monk to lead a group in a meditation walk at Glacial Park. The labyrinth is circular in shape with winding paths that draw you back and forth until eventually you reach the center. Because so many of us were making our way through and we all began at the same time, we regularly needed to move aside as people passed us on the way back from the center.
As we all gathered afterward for discussion I commented on how peaceful, and calming the experience was, everyone was in close proximity to one another and yet we moved together with respect and patience and reverence. I spoke about how in everyday life; I am sometimes impatient while on the road, or trying to get errands done, etc. What if we moved through life the way we had just moved through the labyrinth? Bhante Sujatha’s remark will stay with me forever; he simply said, “Then we would all be holy.”
Suggestions for Slowing Down
- When speaking to someone, stop what you’re doing, make eye contact and attend closely to what they’re saying!
- Make a conscious effort to smile and greet those you pass
- Hold doors open for others
- Happily allow people to merge in traffic
- Choose a trigger-such as a ringing phone to remind you to think loving and positive thoughts about the person calling
- Next time you think something nice about someone, make sure to tell them!
- Practice mindfulness and meditation daily
- Visit a labyrinth in your area (I know of a few in the Chicago NW suburbs!)