The image of a winding path depicts a journey. And, obviously, a path must go somewhere. Is that an accurate statement? A twisting trail begins and it usually ends at some point. Is this true? Most people would say yes. However, this is not necessarily correct when we refer to life and being. We literally take hundreds of journeys down a curving road. These are usually physical journeys. But, can also be mind-made. Still, are we truly going anywhere? Or, are we always there where each journey began?
The winding road to somewhere really leads nowhere; spiritually speaking. It is always about where you are in each moment and not where you are going. The concepts of past and future lose validity when a person is actively conscious. I was walking the other day. It is a gratifying experience to walk outside in nature. Especially during the springtime. I became very aware of the curves and directions of the path.
The Winding Path to Nowhere
Then I reflected on the purpose or reason for this journey. I asked myself if the path itself truly had a purpose. If it did, what was this purpose? This question is actually a metaphor. Because I was really pondering on the journey of life. Still, what would be the obvious answer referring strictly to walking? I wanted to get from point A to point B. I had a destination. The goal to arrive at a certain place was the motivation. This, in turn, influenced any decisions during the walk. Didn’t it? At least, that was my first reaction to this question.
But then I suddenly became very aware of the green spring time grass. The fragrance of the trees and flowers was in the breeze. It became very clear that the (any) destination was ultimately insignificant. Still, the mind wanted to convince me otherwise. It did this by sending thought after thought about anything and everything. But, arriving somewhere really only has a practical importance. So, I stopped walking and gently caressed a flower. There was a feeling of unification with everything.
“Any destination is only a speculated goal. But, a conscious journey along the way offers life and love.”
The moment became mystical. We could say that I experienced an instance of intense enlightenment. We can also call this illumination Kensho, Satori, or Buddha – The verbal root budh- means “to awaken”. The word we use is unimportant. I was alive. And, I became life. Lao Tzu wrote that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. We can expand on this by saying. The conscious awareness of each step outweighs any need to finish a journey. Or, we can say that it is wise to simply be and smell the roses along the way. Please don’t pass life by because of a mind-generated want or need to get somewhere.
P.S. Here is a link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy website. The information offers an understanding of the origin and philosophy of Buddha.