What Is My Path?

trees“To focus on what you don’t want and don’t like is like getting into your car and programming into your GPS the exact location of where you don’t want to go.” -Jacob Glass

Fifteen–or sixteen–years ago when I was in the application process for my current teaching job, I came across a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn about meditation. I couldn’t see that I had time to meditate. But he insisted that it wasn’t hard. He suggested meditating while walking or driving. He suggested a tree meditation that appealed to me. Just look at a tree (I don’t have the book with me, but this is what I remember) or a group of trees and ask, “What is my path?” We had recently moved to our house on a greenbelt, and so I had trees I could look at. In the early morning, before my daughters woke up, before the day’s routine began, I would pour my cup of coffee and step onto the back deck, look at the trees, and ask, “What is my path?” I don’t know what role this meditation had on my getting a tenure-track teaching job, but I know it relieved my anxiety.

Fifteen minutes a day on the manuscript, no matter what else is going on. As July dawns–a new on-line class to teach (and a new on-line system to learn), trips to take, daughters and their birthdays–that is the path I intend to follow through these trees. I want to remember to enjoy the trees and the path. I want you to remember, too. Just stop, look at the trees. Ask “What is my path?” Breathe.




0 replies
  1. Beverly
    Beverly says:

    i LOVE this. I happen to have a wonderful relationship with Trees… this fits for me perfectly and I plan time to make room for this meditation.

  2. awritersalchemy
    awritersalchemy says:

    Me, too! Meanwhile, I have hit that that wall where I remember that summer is never about getting writing done; it’s about my kids! But if I wrote all quarter despite teaching, I think I can keep at least that much momentum going.

  3. Carolynne Harris
    Carolynne Harris says:

    I just did an up pictures of the trees in Pineridge Park – it looks like your picture. But I never thought of asking the trees, what is my path? That’s great. I will do that tomorrow. Love, Carolynne


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