“Life’s a journey, not a destination”
Although this is actually a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, I always think of the Aerosmith song titled “Amazing”. By now I’m sure most of you know how much music is always in my head, and I am a big fan of Aerosmith.
But regardless of the quotes origin, I have felt this way for a very long time. The best way to savor this life is to be fully present and mindful. What will or will not happen in the future is completely irrelevant. The journey for each of us is happening right now, this very moment.
As I began my meditation this morning, my acceptance of impermanence gave rise to the reality that I may not have tomorrow to share with you. And that perhaps today was a great opportunity to share what I have learned so far on my path.
I have lived over fifty-five years on this planet, and been studying the Buddha’s teachings for over twelve years. I have learned many things that I’m sure I have forgotten. But I believe the most valuable lessons are very present in my life today.
Now please do not think that I am presenting myself as some enlightened being with gems of knowledge. I only hope that some morsel of wisdom may be of some benefit to you.
Having been a child, a teenager, a Husband, a Father and a Son. Having been a Sailor in the Navy, a student in Schools, a Born Again Christian, an agnostic and an atheist.
All of these have culminated in the person that exists today as the David.
I only point out all of these phases and experiences in my life to illustrate that there should in fact be a tremendous amount of life changing wisdom that I have to share with you now.
But, as it turns out, I do not.
That said, here is what I have learned so far on my journey:
- Life is short
- Love yourself first if you are truly to love others
- Accept this moment as the only one you have, value it
- Give joyfully and abundantly without expectation, that others may benefit from your loving kindness and compassion
- Stories are not reality, and can only create suffering and dissatisfaction for yourself and others
- We are each unique and special beings, yet are not at all separate or apart from all things
- Only in equanimity and sympathetic joy are we truly of benefit to others
And that’s it so far. It may not seem a lot, but for now it’s all I’ve got.
Namo Buddhaya (I give praise, respect, gratitude, honor to the Buddha).
May you each be well, happy and peaceful.