On Walking

by Bill Bunting

How shall I best interpret Tao? How will I explain the teachings of Tao? How will I describe Tao? How can I communicate where Tao is to another person? The answer, almost obvious, is that I cannot. At the very best all anyone can do is try to shine a light on the path, and walk. If someone else joins us while we walk, and walks with us for a while then we have company, if not, we walk alone, but still we walk. On this path, there are no busses, no cars, not even a bicycle, it is strictly a foot path. There are many, many souls who having lost their way sit along the edge of the path, and sometimes one of those souls is me. Then one day, after a rest, some meditation, a gentle word, a small kindness, I get up again and I walk.

What’s the point? Why all of this walking? It is simply because Tao only can be found in the journey that is in the walking. Tao, true, real, permanent, nameless Tao cannot be found in any book, or in any school.

The ancient masters knew this, and Lao Tzu warned us as well. When we bury ourselves in academics or esoterica we lose Tao. As we give ourselves over to grappling with interpretation, we lose meaning. It is very easy to become lost in the trap of over analysis and pointless bickering, when what really matters is the walk. Even the path becomes unimportant if no one can find it.