I’ve been enchanted by Taos, New Mexico, where I’ve spent the past month. I attended the Taos Summer Writer’s Conference and taught a bit at Shree Yoga, but mostly I’ve just been marveling at the gorgeous scenery.
It recently occurred to me that this journey is not necessarily leading anywhere. What a relief! Because I am certainly don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. But if there IS no destination, then that changes everything. It shifts the outlook dramatically when you are not in a rush to get somewhere.
This is the way of a pilgrim. Sure, there is a certain destination, or perhaps destiny, but it doesn’t necessarily have physical attributes or a geographical location. Pilgrimage is a journey to a state of mind, mirrored in the external environment. Sometimes the path is not marked and the pilgrim might forget where she is headed. But the journey goes on. As Lama Surya Das says:
“Keep on keeping on. This is the pilgrim’s motto.”
I sing this to a Sly and the Family Stone tune.
Then here is the modern day American motto, sung to the tune of a jackhammer beating:
“I’m not really getting anywhere. I’m going to try to make something happen.”
We could look at it this way: we’ve already arrived. The journey is the destination itself. So I’ve decided to adopt a new motto, and keep on, enjoying the scenic route.