The question comes up again & again when travelling, especially if you don’t have a plan. No need to be on a journey, though, to fall into the traveller’s time trap. All it takes is identification with certain trains of thought. Thoughts about ‘whats next?’, jumping into both near and distant future scenarios. Do the next diving course? Work on a farm? Help with landscaping at a rainforest camp? Support a turtle project? Play tourist and visit National Parks? Meditate at the nearby monastery? Sometimes there are too many options… of course, a classical FWP. Certainly, part of it has to do with FOMO.
Like everybody else I have to anticipate actions and consequences time and again. This, in turn, can create stress by leading me ever onwards and trying to cover all eventualities. In the end, the mind can become like a monkey seeking fruit in the forest.
Maybe you know that, too… I am enjoying a delicious meal, having a stroll through town, going for a hike, a refreshing sunrise swim, or coming across an extraordinary experience during formal dhamma practice. Next, desire comes in to wreck the show. I get attached to it. It becomes shallow: ‘Not enough…’ I tend to be irritated and hope for something better. Meanwhile, I might feel tempted to light a cigarette, maybe. Who wants to remain aware of dissatisfaction, right? Then i stop and take a deep breath. Am I not acting like a baby?
Wanting something or other and becoming highly agitated if i don’t get it. The objects of desire may vary. The habit pattern of looking for pleasure stays the same. What’s wrong with pleasure, you might ask. Nothing – as long as there is no conviction that this is where happiness can be found.
For example. Did it ever occur to you that a hard nipple and a cigarette filter have approximately the same size and form? Ever noticed that this fact could be closely connected to your habit of sucking on a paper roll filled with dried leaves? Ever noticed how you’re brainwashed into believing you are an adventurous independent grown-up tough guy riding a motorbike across the desert? Oh no, you see now, you’re just a baby sucking on a substitute tittie. Please forgive me if i sound blunt about this.
The more I try to be someone special by all that swimming-against… the more I react like everybody else. Exploring inner & outer nature I realise how utterly human I am. It is a humbling experience to notice what kind of habits I have been forming throughout my life. Times like these it’s important to remember:
Let me not revive the past
Nor on the future build my hopes
The past has been left behind
The future has not been reached…
I just watched a video I’d like to share with you. Click here to listen to Guy Winch talk about emotional first aid. Truly, the ways in which human beings can hurt themselves (and others, too) are manifold. Of course, so are the ways in which we can help and support one another and make our lives more beautiful.
If all goes well, I will be in Sarawak tomorrow. Which means the answer is for now ‘orientem’ – east.