Running Toward Stillness
Running Toward Stillness is my first book to include original images to accompany my writing. It was published by Rocky Mountain Books in September of 2013.
In 2006 I went through a period of tremendous upheaval, the result of bad decisions made on my part, and a lifetime of anger and fear that left me in a deep depression, struggling to come to terms with the choices I had made. While running on a sun-dappled trail around Victoria’s iconic Mount Doug I realized that, like so many other people, I felt alone and afraid and was suffering, and that I had to do something or about it. While I had been toying with meditation for years, and studying the teaching of the Buddha since I was a teenager, I dedicated myself more fully to a spiritual practice. One half of that practice was sitting still in meditation. The other half was running up and over Southern Vancouver Island’s rocky domes of arbutus and garry oak.
Running Toward Stillness is the result. There is motion in stillness and stillness in motion. While sitting in meditation our breath forms a rhythmic circle to calm the frantic energy of our minds; while running I have experienced moments of sublime delight, where the boundary between myself and the world around me evaporates. During those moments of bliss I am not a man running through the landscape, but merely one part of nature moving through the rest of creation.
Running Toward Stillness is an invitation to run through the woods, along the seashore, and along mountain trails; to share the imperfect insights gained on the trail and while sitting in meditation, and to learn that while we all suffer, we can understand the root of our suffering. Most importantly, we can share the knowledge that there is an end to suffering, and that this wonderful gift can be ours.
The photos in Running Toward Stillness were taken between 2007 and 2012 in the Rocky Mountains, on Vancouver Island, in Utah and Arizona, in Mexico, India and Northern Africa. For those who care, they were all shot on a Nikon D80, mostly with my trusty Nikkor 18-70 lens. I’ve since purchased a Nikon D 7100 and some new glass (my beloved Sigma 10-20) which is what I’m shooting with for Earth and Sky.