On my path, to be mindful is to be aware of what is, within and without, as it is, and to accept it and myself, without condition or condemnation.

Rather than any structured meditation, I walk the beach…it has the bonus of being a quiet moment of exercize, reflection and benediction all in one.  Walking the beach is really sort of a metaphor for life…when you walk the shoreline, there is heartwrenching beauty made all the more poignant for the sporadic defilement by humans and unabashed destruction of the elements–and like the joys and sorrows of life, you couldn’t have one without the other. 

I take a mesh bag and two or three grocery bags (my way of recycling the few I get when I buy too many groceries for my reusable bags) and pick up the trash that blows or drifts ashore, or is left by beach-goers in the grocery bags, and place the small treasures that one finds on the beach–and interesting rock, a unique shell, a piece of coral or seaweed, an old, rounded and worn piece of glass into the mesh bag.  I feel the wind in my hair and the salt tang on my tongue, the water laps at my legs and the sandy-sild bottom of the bay squelches between my toes.  I walk, but I’m not sure how far…until the lower right side of my back twinges, or the bag of trash gets too full.  I feel the silence in my very pores–the silence that has less to do with the absence of sount than the stillness of the mind.

I am at peace and I yearn to lie in the sand as the tide flows around me…but in the back of my mind that list of things to do still tickles.

Sometimes it is hard to be mindful.