As we’ve slid past the mid-point of May, it’s hard to believe that in a few weeks we’ll be close to three months on this journey. Lots of feelings over here about that, and I would venture to guess that I’m not alone. All the more reason to dig into another contemplative practice this week, and keep trying to find creative ways to nurture connection in the midst of uncertainty:
Mindfulness Walking is a practice with roots in the Buddhist tradition, and this article from the National Catholic Reporter does a beautiful job of framing up intentional ways to consider the practice in firm, theological footing within the Christian tradition and Jesus’ call on our lives to walk together peacefully and eschew violence. The author, himself a Catholic priest, describes what it was like to walk together silently in pairs, with no agenda other than peaceful, quiet time together. I appreciate so much his point of how important and difficult it is to separate ourselves from a need for and attachment to outcomes, even on a walk: walking TO somewhere or something, walking for exercise, walking the dog, walking to fulfill a requirement or check a box, walking faster to go further. For some basic tips on mindfulness walking, here is a brief introduction with some specific ideas towards practice.
Something we can do together, apart:
Apropos walking, I am curious about utilizing a practice such as this for something a community could practice in solidarity. Is there a time in the near future when a silent, socially distant walk in pairs might be possible? Making this covenant with a friend or prayer partner would be odd but I also think meaningful. But maybe hard to restrain our conversation after so much distance. I spoke to a good friend today from the curb of her yard and could have talked for hours! A more simple approach might be to commit to the discipline individually but collectively walk for someone or something. In times such as these, acts of spiritual solidarity are not to be underestimated. There is much brokenness in our world that is surfacing in ways both new and old. Along those lines, I read and recommend this powerful article about the death of Ahmaud Arbery that is a call to both political and spiritual action at a time when our awareness around the necessity for change feels extraordinarily palpable. Accountability and repentance are hard, but together we can do it, through Christ who instructs and strengthens us.
Engaging our hearts and brains on the journey:
This week’s verse: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Mark 5:9)
This week’s poem: what the cathedral said to the black boy by Clint Smith
Peace and grace,