31 Dec
Posted in: Travel
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What We Carry With Us

One of my Dharma Buddies sent me a great article, published in Tricycle, called The Long Road to Sitting Still: Why Should a Buddhist Travel? by Pico Iyer. (Thanks, Andrea!) Here’s a quote:

Christians and Muslims observe great and classic pilgrimages, and so do people set on their own course, but the Buddha, perhaps, taking the Middle Way and always reminding us that even our destination is unfixed and perhaps illusory, is every walker’s special friend. Those who journey with him know that they may not come to knowledge so much as a deepened sense of their own ignorance. Even after he arrived at the Bodhi tree, Siddhartha had to sit through night after night before finally waking up to the truth he’d been carrying with him every moment.

And then, of course, he took to the road again, for the next 45 years, across the plains and cities of the central Gangetic plain, if only to tell people to become lamps unto themselves. His very last words seem to suggest that the journey is perpetual: “All created things move one. Keep striving with diligence.”

In one sense we are always traveling,” Thomas Merton wrote, “traveling as if we did not know where we are going. In another sense we have already arrived.” The lives of each of us, the Buddha was saying on his path, are a journey towards recognizing where we’ve been all along.  

(image by Kate Pocrass, from En Route Notecards, published by Chronicle Books)

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