Running Toward Stillness
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.
Running Toward Stillness is a book of a blog. I’ve laboured to preserve some of the rough edges and grittiness that make an online journal interesting and genuine. My hope is that by presenting a short book filled with honest insight, painted with (sometimes feeble attempts) at humour, this book will find its way to nightstands, backpacks and bathrooms across North America and beyond.
Maybe most exciting for me, Running Toward Stillness contains upwards of forty of my own pictures; this is literally a dream come true for me.