Just This From the beginning of time: just this! Ryokan The spotlight of awareness locked on the soundless rocking heel of my shoe, gliding to the middle, propelling my toes, feeling each touch, each finished step, just this. How is this solitary step so full of quiet refreshment, so great a subtraction of choppy waters, roaring road trucks, the daily news? Each kiss of rubber on sidewalk sharpens sinews, awakens senses. Nothing but this raw and untroubled truth. Gone is my usual runaway universe of preoccupations. Now filled with a chain of nows. Gratitude and goodwill after minutes of mindful stepping, like the Jainist merging with the ant, the postman, the mail, myself. Let life continue as it is, only adding just this to the steps of the day.
During a career practicing and teaching at UCLA’s Department of Psychiatry, William H. Miller published three books: Personal Stress Management for Medical Patients, Systematic Parent Training, and a memoir, Soothing: Lives of a Child Psychologist. He recently rediscovered his love for poetry. Partly retired, he plans to spend his time studying and writing poetry.