An act of sharing.
When you walk, know that there is a time for communion and a time for solitude. Connect with the passerby with dignity and grace. Allow for gaps in conversation, for that is where insight resides.
When you walk, know that you are sharing the path with all living creatures and all have a right to the path. The good walker will find the subtle balance.
Walking with companions can be rewarding. Whilst sacramental immersion may not be feasible, walking in communion is at the other end of that spectrum. It is fertile ground for enduring, powerful friendships and solid memories. Problems can be solved, counselling can be administered and points of view tested.
The act of sharing food or a meal with your companions is sacred. Whether it be the cup of tea before an anxious ascent or the preparation of the evening meal under roof or by campfire. The industry of preparation connects the walkers, incidental idling allows for the day’s topographical memories to be discussed and tomorrow’s agendas to be formulated.
It is possible for a society of walkers to experience a communal immersion which is indeed a very sacred experience. When all the greeting chat is complete and walkers are focusing on the task at hand at the same pace , a beautiful synchronicity develops not unlike a cycling peloton. The peloton moves across the landscape with purpose and poise. Planning a communal immersion is near impossible. It often comes after several days of difficult walking when the party has silently surrendered to each other. You can lay the seed for communal immersion by night walking or dawn walking. It is an enriching experience to be stowed in your spiritual treasury.
Walking in communion allows for the exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level. This is a sacred exchange and should be treated accordingly.
Choose your companions carefully. A difficult walk can bring out character traits that are not to your liking and in fact can ruin a friendship. Be prepared to bear witness to the human condition. Tailor your companion walks appropriately. Doctrine dictates that we do not walk in groups larger than six people and always walk at the pace of the slowest person. When you have a greyhound in the group, agree on the checkpoints on a map to pause and regroup.
Exercise tolerance. People come to serious pedestrianism in their own way and it might well be different to yours.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”– African Proverb
One of the best things you can do for the wounded soul who is at a low point and between lost and found, is to take them on a long walk. They might protest but you should moderately persist. Walking is a medicine.
When you walk alone, you are the master. Your wayfaring will not go challenged and responsibility resides with you alone. If you guide a walk, your leadership will be implied. You are vested with a finite responsibility of some importance. When you walk with skilled companions, leadership is vague or ill-defined, inclusivity must be practised. Circumstance and experience will dictate who might take on benevolent leadership duties.
If you are the master of a dog you will know walking. Walking with dogs is a sure way of communing with others. It is a conversational entry point. Be sure your hound is leashed and droppings are collected. Remember that not all people are dog people and respect those wishes.
“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”– Lao Tsu, Tao Teh Ching