Be the Cause

Life: A Walker’s Guide. How to honor and care for the path you’re on. By Paulo Coelho

I just came across this article in ODE magazine and I felt like it could have been written specifically for me. I was so inspired by it. I decided to make copies and mail them to everyone I know, but then I realized I don’t have addresses for some of the most important people in my life, but all my best friends look at the BTC blog. So here it is. I hope it speaks to you the same way it spoke to me.

1. The path begins at a crossroads. There you can stop and think what direction you want to take. But don’t spend too much time thinking or you’ll never leave the spot. Ask yourself the classic Carlos Castaneda question: Which of these paths has a heart? Reflect a lot on the choices that lie ahead, but once you’ve taken the first step, forget the crossroads forever or you’ll always torture yourself with the useless question, “Did I take the right path?” If you listened to your heart before the first movement, you chose the right path.

2. The path doesn’t last forever. It’s a blessing to travel the path for some time, but one day it will come to an end, so be prepared to take leave of it at any moment. However enraptured you may be at certain landscapes, or scared when you have to make a great effort to keep moving forward, don’t get too used to anything-neither the hours of euphoria nor the endless days when everything seems so difficult and progress is so slow. Don’t forget that sooner or later an angel will appear and your journey will arrive at an end.

3. Honor your path. It was your choice, your decision, and just as you respect the ground you step on, that ground will respect your feet. Always do what’s best to conserve and keep your path and it will do the same for you.

4. Be well-equipped. Carry a small rake, a spade, a penknife. Understand that penknives are no use for dry leaves, and rakes are useless for herbs that are deep-rooted. Know what tool to use at each moment. And take care of your tools, because they’re your best allies.

5. The path goes forward and backward. At times you have to go back because something was lost, or a message to be delivered was forgotten in your pocket. A well tended path enables you to go back without any great problem.

6. Take care of the path before you take care of what’s around you. Attention and concentration are fundamental. Don’t be distracted by the dry leaves at the edges. Use your energy to tend and conserve the ground that accepts your steps.

7. Be patient. Sometimes the same tasks have to be repeated, like tearing up weeds or closing holes that appear after unexpected rain. Don’t let that annoy you; it’s part of the journey. Even though you’re tired, even though certain tasks are repeated so often, be patient.

8. Paths cross. People can tell you what the weather is like elsewhere. Listen to advice, but make your own decisions. You’re responsible for the path entrusted to you.

9. Nature follows its own rules. You have to be prepared for sudden changes in the fall, slippery ice in winter, the temptations of flowers in spring, thirst and showers in the summer. Make the most of each of these seasons, and don’t complain about their characteristics.

10. Make your path a mirror of yourself. By no means let yourself be influenced by the way others care for their paths. You have your own soul to listen to, and the birds to whisper translations of what your soul is saying. Let your stories be beautiful and pleasant for everything around you to hear. Above all, let the stories your soul tells during the journey be echoed along each and every second of the path.

11. Love your path. Without this, nothing makes any sense.

The perfect getaway with BTC crew!

We were at the Corner Bakery in February and hiker mama, Bharti asked a few of us about the possibility of going to Joshua Tree for the weekend. And that’s how it all started…

After some email discussions with Bharti and Thoi, things started to come together!

Last Saturday, Aprill 19th in the year 2008, we all gathered to see/experience the great outdoors! 17 of us went!

Was this to be a service trip? Not really. An evening of awareness? Not so much.

I would call it a communing with nature adventure! Joshua Tree is so very beautifu! I can see why U2 created an album of the very same name.

Everything seemed to work really well. A few of us wimped out on staying overnight. I thought I had so many things to do the next day…I really could have stayed over after all but it was cold and windy! 8 peeps braved the cold and even did a moonlight hike. They really enjoyed!

5 of us day trippers were able to go to Quizno’s on the way in…and we met a guy who worked there…I think the owner…and guess what his name was? Sukh! Sukh and Sukh took a picture together and we made another friend and passed on some Smile cards!

We got to see Mikeee…one of my fave service vacation travellers. We missed him much and it was awesome to see him again. He brought drums!

We stopped at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center and got the 411 *info on all the hikes to take. We thought we could possibly do 2 or 3. Alas, one was enough! 4.8 mile/somewhat strenuous hike was fine by me! We went on a hike called, “The Oasis.” And that it was! We hiked and saw all the crumbly, intricate rocks that make Joshua Tree famous and then all of a sudden, we happened upon cool, shaded rocks and palm trees! But no pools of water (all dried up) as stated in pamphlet.

I really enjoyed hiking with everyone. I stopped to take pics with my disposable camera. I lost my digital one in Sri Lanka :-( But the disposable pics came out quite nice as Madhavi stated.

The day turned to dusk. And we helped the campers put their tents up. Raquel drove in after a Social Justice Summit at CSUF. It was so great to see her and her friends.

Sukh led a discussion around campfire about how nature impacts us. It was so nice to hear everyone’s viewpoints. A common theme was a love for the stars, the feeling we get when we are surrounded by the outdoors and how insignificant we all are in the gigantic universe…what this meant inside my heart….was how being in nature can drown out all the hecticness of city life and can really bring such inner peace, community, connection…

And then came the drumming!! And it was a full moon!

I drove back with Bharti, Sukh, Sonali, and Ruth and was ever so grateful….for this perfect getaway :)

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