Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
~ John O'Donohue ~
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that a journey can become a sacred thing? Can you share an experience of a journey where a silence within you helped you hear your heart? What helps be more attentive to the self you bring along?
I love John expressing the feelings and thoughts that are just below the surface each day as we live the sanctuary of our homes. My heart fluttered just a bit in reading this, as I could feel the excitement, the expectation and, yes, the bit of trepidation as I leave my home in the morning. I believe each day is sacred and each day is an opportunity to transform something. Thank you, John, for expressing it so beautifully. Each morning, I, as a practicing Buddhist, chant the mantra Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, to my mandala to commune with my higher self and set the tone for the day. I return each evening to perform the ritual again. This morning and evening rhythm refreshes, invigorates and cleanses my life to start the next daily journey.
I met a very special man 11 (ish) years ago. Though words cannot explain it, I felt a Spiritual connection at our first meeting. Roughly, 9 years ago I read John O'Donohue's book entitled Anam Cara. This book "put into words" the relationship my soul had and still has with him. My Path and his do not often cross (physically) ... But (Spiritually) I do not go anywhere without him. For God so loved me, He blessed me with my Anam Cara ... And, for this gift, I am soooo thankful! Namaste
oh yes, a journey is indeed a sacred thing, no matter if a journey to a foreign land or the journey in our own town or city; it is all about the intention we set: are we taking the journey with an open heart, mind and soul? Are we allowing for the unexpected to awe us? Are we opening our eyes to truly see the beauty all around us, even if it is simply a tree on the street where we live? Are we engaging with people heart to heart? Are we seeking to grow and learn especially if immersed in a culture other than our own? I have found that many times when i travel, I've been to 27 countries so far: 20 of them through Storytelling performances/experiences, I seek to learn, grow and understand as well as soak in unexpected experiences whether that is a cultural celebration like the one i happened upon in Peru where hundreds gathered in a town square and ate a feast of seaweed, cuy, cheese, and tiny potatoes and there was singing and chanting too. i had little idea what was happening, but my smiling face and open attitude soon had me pulled in with the locals. It was wonderful! Or the time in in Italy when i was on a train solo seated with a couple in their 80s and a young woman in her 20's, all Italian. I had only packed some crackers for what was supposed to be a 2 hour ride. they all had sandwiches and the older couple had a little picnic basket and wine too. They shared it with me upon eyeing my crackers and the 20 something invited me to her village for a food fest. So being open as well as being quiet enough to hear'/see the potential extra journeys leads to a richer travel. Be open, be kind, and be loving and see what unfolds! <3[Hide Full Comment]
A call comes from within to wake up to explore new and unknown territories. Is it exciting? Is it frightening? Is it both exciting and frightening?
There have been times in my life when I had put my life on hold. The fear of being bitten again would stop me from traveling on the road unknown with no guide or a compassionate companion. I felt stuck. The stream of life getting dried. I let myself go quietly in this zone. A new day began and I let myself breathe fresh air, open my eyes to see the beckoning light. I stood up and started walking. There was something within me was still live and gave me the energy to take new steps. It felt like the autumn of my life was receiving the blessings of the upcoming spring.
When I was in a high school, I read and loved a poem in my language Gujarati. I still remember the title of the poem-
"Jivanni gati santana!" Life, like a river, moves on! Those words have inspired me and have been a mantra for me to move on and not not to get stuck with the life holding past.
May we let go of the life-holding past and embrace the the new day with hope, courage and gratitude!
Jagdish P Dave
The journey is the Soul's eternal invitation to connect with the Love that is its essence. Every step becomes sacred. Every breath, a deepening of the connection.
I experienced this over and again on my pilgrimage walking from Rome to Jerusalem. The body disappears. The mind stills; and all that is left is the heart, opened and receiving.
The true journey is maintaining that sense of openness and wonder in what is disguised as "ordinary life". The breath, with yoga, remain my daily practice on this pilgrimage called life. <3
A journey is sacred that proceeds by following one's inner voice or spirit, that engenders learning, growth, and becoming more whole, and likely takes one where he or she doesn't know he or she is going. When I do that kind of journeying, mostly for brief durations during some days, I don't have external goals and I block out external distractions which creates a silence to the outside world that helps me hear and be guided by my inside world. Such journeying is alive for me and helps me be more attentive to my inner self. Such journeying is its own reward.