Chapter 1 / Wind Walker: The path of contemplative stillness.
A long, long time ago, there was a place where it was always summertime. The people who lived there didn’t know theirs was a special land. Everyone was so happy, no one ventured out into the far-away places.
Everyone lived in small villages. Each village was like a large family. Several older men and women taught the children about their traditions.
One of the sacred teachings of each village was the beautiful story about the wind. No matter how often they heard this story, children and adults wanted to hear it over and over again. It was as if hearing the story satisfied a hunger inside of them.
To them, the wind was the breath of the Holy and Ancient One, who made all things and now sustained all things by breathing over them. The wind was life. That’s why no one built huts or houses. Everyone lived outside, sleeping under the trees where, even at night, the wind breathed over them.
When they cooked their meals over an open fire, they fanned the wind into their fires to carry the fragrance of their cooking back to the Holy and Ancient One and to receive, in return, a blessing of health and prosperity.
They did all their teaching, singing and dancing out in the wind where the wind could carry their sounds to the Holy and Ancient One. Then, as they paused and waited in silence, they felt inside themselves a rush of joy and peace as the wind came back from the Holy and Ancient One.
It was no wonder the people had great respect and reverence for one they called the Wind Walker.
As the story went, many of the people were sure this was the only person who walked on the wind and went to see the Holy and Ancient One. The Wind Walker traveled from village to village and stayed among the people for some time. So it was that one morning, the people of one village awoke to see the Wind Walker sitting in the glow of the rising sun, waiting quietly for the wind to blow the sun up into the sky and to announce the start of another day.
The people jumped out of their sleeping places under the trees and forgot all about eating or drinking anything. Making a large circle around Wind Walker, everyone sat down on the ground and waited in the stillness for Wind Walker to speak to them. But some of them were not very good at waiting.
“Tell us,” someone cried out, “tell us how you walk on the wind.”
“Yes, yes, yes,” someone else spoke up, “and tell us how to find the way to the Holy and Ancient One.”
“I do not walk on the wind,” Wind Walker gently answered. “I walk with the wind.” Knowing the questions in their minds, Wind Walker went on to teach them many things. “I do not go to meet the Holy and Ancient One, because the Holy and Ancient One is already here for you and for me — the Holy and Ancient One always comes to meet us and wait for us!”
“The wind waits for us to make ourselves ready to walk with it. It’s not a matter of putting on — putting on wings or putting on flowing robes. It’s a matter of taking off. Leave behind your blanket and your cooking pot. Leave behind your wife, your husband, your children, your mother, your father, your best friends.”
“Go alone out into a quiet place where the wind can touch you. There search for the stillness in your heart where the Holy and Ancient One is waiting for you. Say to the Holy and Ancient One, ‘Here I am. I am here for You.’”
Then Wind Walker paused and looked around at all the people sitting quietly in the circle. They seemed like eager children, hungry to hear and thirsty to feel everything Wind Walker could teach them. With great compassion for them, Wind Walker continued throughout the day.
To this day, no one knows how it happened. As they listened to Wind Walker speak to them, everyone gathered there felt a heavy load lift from them. Then Wind Walker stood up and breathed over them. Inside of everyone, a gentle and quiet wind began to stir.
So it was they passed the whole day with Wind Walker teaching them about walking with the wind, and being with the Holy and Ancient One. Night did not come until Wind Walker heaved a deep sigh, and the sun rolled out of the sky like a giant bird flying to its nest to tuck its head under its wings and to sleep.
Savor the Experience
Now discover and apply this wisdom in your own life experience.
“To these people, the wind was the breath of the Holy and Ancient One, who made all things and now sustained all things by breathing over them.”
Notice how the people in the story “honored” what they believed in: They slept under the trees at night, they fanned the wind into their cooking fires to carry the fragrance back to the Holy and Ancient One, their teaching and singing and dancing were out in the wind, and so forth.
• What images or beliefs do you have about who or what the Divine, Divine Source, Higher Power, God, Eternal Love, or other such spirit is for you?
• How do you “honor” what you believe in?
» What images or beliefs about the Divine do your family and friends have? Can you respect their diversity and personal spirituality without challenging them, confronting them, or putting them down?
“As the story went, many of the people were sure this was the only person who walked on the wind and went to see the Holy and Ancient One.”
» Have you heard about people credited with special powers or associated with miraculous events?
» Do you listen to both their supporters and their challengers, or do you find yourself choosing to hear and believe only what supports your position?
» What stories, legends, traditions, rituals, and devotions do your family and friends have about the Divine as part of their personal spirituality? Can you respect their diversity and personal spirituality?
Look at the bigger picture and what it might mean to you.
Choose one or more of the following statements. Allow yourself time to quietly sit with one statement at a time. Several times, repeat to yourself the whole statement or parts of it, and visualize it with all your senses: See it, hear it, touch it, feel it, let it speak to you, let it touch you, let yourself respond to it.
“The Holy and Ancient One is already here for you and for me –the Holy and Ancient One has always come to meet us and wait for us!”
“The wind waits for us to make ourselves ready to walk with it.”
“Go alone out into a quiet place where the wind can touch you.”
“Say to the Holy and Ancient One, ‘Here I am. I am here for You.’”
Go deeper into the stillness and quiet. Allow yourself into this experience without trying to control what is happening, without analyzing it, without making any effort to remember it. When the experience seems to be finished, to no longer hold your attention and your feelings, then consider journaling. Give yourself time to reflect and to write down what you learned about yourself, or what new awareness you gained in this experience.