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Walking is excellent for rejuvenating the body. Our beating heart and circulating blood infuses our tissues with energy giving oxygen and removes the toxins that cause physical and mental discord. What most people don’t realize is that walking can be an excellent exercise for our other heart, the one we often refer to as our soul or spirit. I call this space-walking and the benefits go far beyond a traditional stroll in the park. Let me explain.
To the casual passerby space-walking looks the same as plain old everyday one-foot-in- front-of-the-other walking. But, inside the space-walker, the symphony of the spheres sings in perfect harmony with the sparrow’s song; the wind through the grass; the beating of every heart of every created being. Sound impossible? Not at all, Space-walking is not only possible but is easy once you know how.
As we navigate through our daily routine our senses remain engaged by things and our minds by thoughts. For instance, when we enter a room we note the things that occupy that room. We see the coffee cup on the table next to the couch on which Aunt Bertha is blissfully entangled in her afternoon nap. But there is something in the room of great value and it rarely gets noticed: space. That’s right, simple, all enveloping space.
When we pay attention to space instead of the objects that define it, something very magical begins to take place. Our minds slow down and our bodies relax. Then we begin to see our world in a most beautiful and wondrous way. Our lives are forever and incredibly enriched simply by acknowledging space. Here’s why.
Both saints and scientists tell us that all things come from nothing. David Bohm, a quantum mechanical theorist considered by Einstein to be one of the best in his field, calls this nothing “implicate order.” From the nothing of implicate order all creation is spun like the web from a spider. From the nothing comes the basic building block of life, the wave. Waves create particles and particles create atoms. Then atoms create molecules which then crate stars and cars and candy bars. That’s Creation 101 in a nutshell. Everything we see comes from primordial nothing.
When we become aware of nothing we travel back to our birthplace as it were. Coming home nurtures both body and soul. It feels good and, as we will see in a moment, is so good for us.
Now space is not nothing. It is simply the emptiness between two objects. Space can contain air, radio waves, odors, dust mites, water vapor and so on. But to the mind, space represents nothing so we can use space as our gateway to bliss and harmony. So now let’s lace up our walking shoes and learn how to space-walk.
Start out with a gentle walk in pleasant surroundings. As you walk begin to notice, not birds or cars or plants but the space between these things. Find the space between the trees, between the branches and then find the space between the leaves. Don’t look at the clouds look into the vastness between the clouds. Anywhere you see two things note the space between them.
You can use sound to find space as well. Listen to the even fall of your feet on the ground then find the silence, the space between your footfalls. Listen to the distant whine of a siren. Listen intently until siren finely fades into silent space. Space is everywhere. You only need to become aware of it to begin space-walking.
Are you getting the idea? Now you are ready for the final step. This is the most important part of space-walking. Once you find space don’t look at it as if it were just another object to be identified. Your mind will become quickly bored if all you do is identify space The mind likes stunning vistas and juicy problems to sink its mental teeth into. Space is neither of these.
Here’s the trick, the magic of finding your soul and filling your heart. Once you find space, peer intently into it as if it was a thick fog and you are waiting to see what will come out of it. Look into the depth and breadth of every space and pay close attention to, not only what you see but what you feel. Don’t try and find something in space. Wait to see what it offers you. It will not be what you expect. It will be more in every way. Here is an excerpt from an email I got from Nancy, a new space-walker.
“After our conversation this morning I went out for a run. The movement was so majestic
it brought tears to my eyes. The most profound phenomenon during this run was that all
the animals I passed did not move away. Several times during this magnificent hour I
held back tears from joy. I noticed the air wasn’t “just air” it was a silky living presence
waving its way around me.”
Start space-walking slow and become more active as you learn how to hold the silence within the space. Nancy was actually a space-jogger. Of course you can do space-walking with any activity like tennis, rollerblading or just sitting and watching Aunt Bertha enjoy the bliss of stolen sleep, the space between the moments of our lives.