TRAVELING

TRAVELING

 

Stone: depends on the subject.

The Mantra: A Sat Ma Sat Gamaya

The Key:

 

With the right attitude traveling can help because we are influenced

much more than we realize by our milieu, those around us,

habits, etc, and a change is often fertile.

But this is still on the surface of your being:

learn how to travel within.

 

a) Ramana Maharshi introduces the issue by asking this essential Question:

 

Where are you going?

 

And then answers it thus:

 

You are not going anywhere. The Self does not move,

the world moves in it.

 

You are only what you are. There is no change in you. So then, even after

what looks like a departure from here, you are here and there

and everywhere. These scenes shift.

 

He means that there is no change in the real you.

To which extent can you see this?

Ramakrishna agrees:

 

You can travel in all the four quarters of the earth but will find

nothing anywhere for whatever there is,

is only HERE.

 

Did you perchance think that it could be anywhere else?

Where?

Don’t be deceived.

As He said, it will only be HERE and NOW.

Anais Nin noted that:

 

We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man

has so much farther to go within himself.

b) Kierkegaard also didn’t think much of traveling and said that

 

People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human;

 

they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence and think

that they have seen something.

 

However, Tagore disagrees and affirms that:

The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own,

and he has to wonder through all the outer worlds

to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

 

Who is right, Kierkegaard or Tagore?

BOTH.

How so?

Kierkegaard is talking of those at the beginning of the Path, while Tagore speaks of the seekers who at a certain stage of their evolution need to explore various doors in order to find their own Path.

 

On the other hand, as we do absorb the way of thinking, fears, prejudices and thought formations of those around us, the mental atmosphere of the culture we are born in or of the country where we live,

 

leaving all this awhile gives one a chance to become more

in contact with our inner being.

 

Interested?

Lin Yutang goes very deep into the issue, and what he said would make a very good Zen Ko’han:

 

A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going to,

and a perfect traveler does not know

where he came from.

How good a traveler are you?

Do you really know where you are going to?

What about where you came from?

Actually,

 

a perfect traveler knows that he comes from the Divine

and is going to Him,

 

but Lin Yutang meant that a perfect traveler has no mental constructions about where he is going, and know that he does not really come from his parents or the birthplace of his body.

 

c) It is only natural to enjoy traveling,

but this easily becomes a mere distraction and at best can only be

 

a preparation for the inner journey indispensable to find out

who we really are and accomplish

the Mission of our soul.

 

The reason that very few ever attempt such inner Journey is not only the Veil, the adverse forces plus the countless conditionings preventing most of us for entering it, but also that

 

it takes a lot of courage to go where very few have ever gone, and where unless

we can find at least one similarly minded soul we will remain

alone even in the midst of a crowd.

 

How would this make you feel?

It makes us feel just WONDERFUL.

Rumi has a warning:

 

if you keep forever traveling from this to that you might

end up going around like a donkey at the mill,

round and round its fixed post.

 

Are you still traveling from form to form?

Why?

 

It is just an old, bad habit.

 

To which “post” have you been attached so far?

How to become free from it?

You don’t want to be the donkey.

Oliver Goldsmith agrees with Rumi and warns that:

 

A man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher,

but he who goes from country to country guided by the blind

impulse of curiosity is a vagabond.

 

The Kabuli:

When a merchant came to offer a donation for the congregation, he boasted to no end about all the faraway places that he had visited with his caravan.

The Kabuli only smiled, but after the merchant left said:

 

What a traveler! It seems that the only place where

he has never been is in himself!

 

The Veil:

 

It is often the Veil that makes us wish to travel here and there in the outside world

to neutralize our subliminal need to Journey in the vast

unexplored continents within us.

 

The Dreamgame:

In the Dreamgame, with the right attitude Traveling is always an OPPORTUNITY, otherwise it becomes yet another DISTRACTION.

The Opportunity aspect is that, as St. Augustine said that

 

The world is a book and who does not travel

reads but a page.

 

The other aspect is that

   

The real Journey is the inward one, and traveling in the world

may well distract us from it.

 

The Devil’s Advocate:

Wherever you think that you are going, there is only ONE ultimate destination for the journey of life, and you know only too well that it is death: so why bothering to go anywhere at all?

 

The Khdir:

 

Traveling? Where could you ever possibly go to find Him?

Beloved, listen: why don’t you just return

to your true home at last!

 

Words of Power:

 

Travel wherever you want, but don’t forget to visit also the immense,

unexplored continents without you!

 

“Whatsoever road I took, it joined the street

leading to Thee.” Inayat Khan

 

“This is a journey without distance. Stop traveling

and you arrive.” Anthony de Mello

 

“In order to travel it’s enough to be.”

Fernando Passoa

 

How so?

 

Living it:

In the sixties there was that cherished myth, “being on the road.” so as a teenager and in his early twenties Vijay traveled in many European and Arab countries.

What was the use of it, he asked himself much later, and thought that his time would have been put to better use if he had come to India to do Yoga much earlier instead,

 

but eventually became aware that he could not have found his true direction

without first exploring so many wrong ones.

 

What about YOU?

 

The Way:

Follow Cesare Pavese’s advice:

 

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies,

jealousies, un-forgiveness, selfishness and fears.

Kabir’s advice is even better:

 

Don’t go off anywhere else! Kabir says: just discard

all thoughts of imaginary things and stand

firm in that which you are.

 

How will you stand firm in what you really are?

It is enough to let go of all that you have ever been.

Even its best, so that you can reach an even higher level of it.

Rumi agrees:

 

You have no need to travel anywhere. Journey within

yourself, enter a mine of rubies and bathe

in the splendor of your own light.

 

Don’t go anywhere I beg you, the moon

you are looking for is inside you.

 

Khalil Gibran had the right attitude:

A traveler I am, and a navigator, and every day

I discover a new region within my soul.

 

Apart in very practical situations, like when your must buy a bus or plane ticket,

never say:

 

I am going this country, I am going to that place.

 

But tell yourself instead:

 

Wherever I may go it can only be in the Mind of the Divine,

journeying in His Cosmic Dream.

 

Question/ko’han 1 and 2:

Which effect has usually traveling on you?

Why?

Question/ko’han 3 and 4:

 

All journeys have a secret destination of which

the traveler is usually unaware.

 

Which is your secret destination?

How do you plan reaching it?

Question/ko’han 5:

According to Antonio Porchia,

 

Man goes nowhere: everything comes to man,

like tomorrow.

 

True or false?

Question/ko’han 6:

The Buddha affirmed that

 

It is better to travel well than to arrive.

 

Why?

Question/ko’han 7:

A Russian proverb said that all roads have two directions.

 

What does this mean, besides the obvious?

 

Dogen has the last word, which before remembering having read it in a Zen book Vijay though he had written it himself:

 

Never ask me where I am going: as I travel in this limitless world:every step I take is my own home.

 

What about your own steps?

 

Practice:

 

1) Consider this passage of Osho:

 

We must travel in spite of all dangers and risks,

and the greatest risk is NOT to travel,

 

because then you are stuck, you don’t grow, you are like a stone, you will never flower. In traveling maybe you will go astray, you will commit mistakes.

So what? One learns through mistakes, one learns

through going astray.

 

2) Meditate on these hermetic words of Ella Maillart:

 

You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel

for the unknown that reveals you

with yourself.

 

How will the unknown be revealed with yourself?

 

3) Follow Nisargadatta Maharaj’s advice:

 

If you are sincere, you need not go around. You are yourself everywhere

and create your own environment. Moving around

will not give you the salvation.

 

You are not the body and carrying it everywhere is useless.

You mind if free to vagabond in the three worlds –

use it fully.

 

Are you using it fully?

If not, why not?

 

Contemplate:

 

– These words of Mère:

 

Those who live for Thee and in Thee may change their physical surroundings, their habits, climate, “milieu”, but everywhere they find the same atmosphere;

 

they carry that atmosphere in themselves, in their thought constantly fixed on Thee. Everywhere they feel at home, for everywhere

they are in Thy house.

 

No longer do they marvel at the novelty, unexpectedness, picturesqueness of things and countries; for them, it is Thy Presence that is manifest in all and Thy unchangeable splendor, which never leaves them, is apparent in the least grain of sand. The whole earth chants Thy praises;

 

in spite of the obscurity, misery, ignorance, through it all, it is still

the glory of Thy love which we perceive and with which

we can commune ceaselessly everywhere.

 

Haiku:

 

In this vast amazing world so many places have I seen,

landscapes, events and faces, of the same symphony

a different note each; but only by traveling within

unending wonder I found and all is always new.

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