Balancing Hiking, Meditation, and Friendship

Societies connection to unconditional love is diminishing. Simply meditating two hours a day and surrendering to dhamma has not produced the changes in my life and community that I’ve been hoping for. Meditation helps me purify my mind and eliminate the anger, fear, and greed. This helps me to personally grow in unconditional love, but it doesn’t seem to impact others very much. This waiting mentality actually seems to isolate and weaken me.

I really enjoy talking to people about my practice. I value the support I get from Goenka meditators, but I like discussing how my path is similar to and different from others who cross my path. This transparent dialogue with love and acceptance is very supportive for both people. When friendships form across diverse paths, we start reintroducing unconditional love into our communities. At least that has been my experience.

Plunging into the unknown takes strength and courage. I’ve always been excited by interactions with strangers, but it’s important to bring confidence into these interactions. Getting daily physical exercise makes me feel so much stronger. I’ve never been a gym rat, and I’m not really interested in sports anymore, but I love hiking. I downloaded this app called Walk the Distance that lets me plot my daily steps along the Appalachian Trail or Camino de Santiago. Now, while I’m walking on the local tracks, I’m getting thrill of walking across Spain with friends.

I definitely don’t have this all figured out, but balancing hiking, meditation, and friendship is making me a better person, father, and husband. Hopefully unconditional love will continue to grow within me and my communities. Time to meditate!


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