Wandering Monk: A Lightness of Being

He was tired. It had been a long walk. The sun was shining overhead – in all its glory. He dragged himself slowly, his shoulders bent forward, as if there was a load that was harnessed, a heavy load, perhaps accumulated from his past.

Box Grunge, Bhimbetka Caves, MP, India

He stopped, looked down at the parched earth where beads of sweat made splatter shapes. He dropped to his knees, his head hung deep, his chin to his chest, his eyes slowly closing to the brightness that reddened the darkness, through his eyelids.

He was tired.

He almost wanted to stretch his shoulders and arms outwards, as if to release him of the harness. But was it physical in nature, this weight that he dragged along? Where was the harness bound? To his shoulders? To his mind? Wasn’t it the sweet burden of belonging that he had willingly chosen.

He went back to the days when he had taken on this burden. It was purposeful then. It was a sweet moment of a bright new day. The excitement of newness had engulfed him. He thought of all the days to this day – as he hauled this apparent sense of purpose.

Along the way, he had added to it.

He had allowed others to add to it.

From those that were afraid, from those that were lazy, from those that were cunning. From those that had been hurt or had been weak. From those that had gone astray. He had dragged their sense of purpose for them. He had done it for a while now.

His worst fear was to be called a traitor. He felt the need to belong to those that betrayed. Perhaps that is why he never questioned the weight that erased his footsteps behind him. He never questioned his speed. His mountains lay far away and he had much ground to cover.

He stood up suddenly, his head held high, he stretched and shrugged his shoulders. It was a new resolve and a lightness of being.

He strode forward, his pace now quickened and even.


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