Dear Mindful Readers,

I spent the day at Deep Park Monastery from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., no different time-wise than when I drop the boys off at school and pick them up. I was in class today and the teachers were the Buddhist monks and nuns of Deer Park along with the liveliness of nature. It was a Day of Mindfulnessa day in my mind… a day of allowing and receiving from the universe… a day of gratefulnessa day of unlearning and learning anew.

Deer Park Monastery was established by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh to share the practice of mindful living. It’s a 400-acre sanctuary nestled in the mountains of southern California.

I journeyed with a monk and other sojourners as we walked. However, this wasn’t any walk. I learned how to walk mindfully (being in the present moment) which meant “slowly… a narrow gait.” If you took a wide gait, you would literally touch the heels of the person ahead of you.

As we walked, I paid attention to the sounds… the Darth Vader breathing, the runny noses, the squeaky shoes. But as we continued, I only heard the birds, the bees, the water trickling, the animals rummaging in nature. I saw the birds in the air and felt the sunlight on my skin. I tuned and tapped into the frequency of God, Source, Energy. I was receiving Divine inspiration as ideas and insights were being delivered to me. I paid attention to the silence… the wide open spaces.

We walked for an hour. At one point, we stopped abruptly. The monk turned towards the mountain. And we breathed. Breathing in love, gratitude, peace. Breathing out fear, complaining, confusion. And this song came to me as a gentle whisper. It wasn’t a song that I thought about in years. But today, it sprung from the depths of my heart… as a gentle reminder. It was written by then-Catholic priest Peter R. Scholte in 1968.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

I smiled.

The monk continued down the path. I continued down my path. We continued down our path.

Stay tuned to the rest of the Deer Park discoveries during the week. Until then, keep walking with mindfulness, breathing in and breathing out, and expanding into more love.

More love,

Photo Credit: Image obtained from Google (Free Images of Deer Park Monastery)