Thursday, May 14, 2015
Where are you off to?
"Stay off the Buses !!" - Unknown
"If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts." - Alan Cohen
A few weeks back I sat listening to a fellow talking about how he finds quiet within. He envisions that he is sitting at a bus station at an oasis in the desert with buses coming and buses going. (Buses represent trains of thought.) He explained that a bus will come into the station and before he knows it he is ten miles down the road out in the middle of nowhere.
I have a friend that laughed about a train of thought that a pain in his knee that come on suddenly a while back. He was walking across the kitchen and felt a sharp stabbing pain in his knee. Between the kitchen table and the refrigerator, his thought process went from awareness of the pain to his uncle who had a knee go bad at about his age to the fact that his uncle died shortly thereafter to the notion that this all meant that he too was going to die soon. You may think that example is extreme, but is it?
On the road I find myself drifting and having to pull myself back all the time. It can be as simple as trying to have a conversation with someone. I find myself planning what I am going to ask or say next instead of really focusing on the person and the ideas they are trying to impart to me. I can get stuck in the sand in the van and within five minutes have myself so worked up that I am doubting myself, doubting God and doubting that this life has any value.
I can get on whimsical buses too. I can smell, see or hear something that reminds me of childhood circumstance, but after a few fond memories I am soon thinking about how I shouldn't have done this or should have done that - stuff 45 years ago !! Meanwhile there are birds flitting about, flowers blooming, people interacting - a while world of opportunity that fades into obscurity while my neurons belch out sagas of negativity.
It seems that every bus, regardless of what direction it seems to be starting off in, ends up taking us out into desolation - grandiosity, self pity, yearning desire, remorse, obsession - or any one of the other destinations that our heads take us to when we are not living in this moment. The buses that run into the past seem to arrive at destinations like false pride or remorse. Buses that run to future destinations seem to always end up in places with names like fantasy or anxiety.
Yeah, thinking can be of value. But have I ever had an original thought - one no one else has ever had? When I look at my thoughts critically, I find that they are not the quests of abstraction that I fantasize they are. Detached examination reveals that for the most part they are merely excursions into distraction. For the most part, thinking is overrated. I think.
So, maybe - just maybe we can spend today sitting at the bus station without feeling the need to climb on any buses. And when we realize that we have unwittingly climbed on one bus or another and find ourselves out in the middle of the wasteland, we don't have to try to analyze how or why we got on the bus. We can just make the conscious decision to debark and get back to the only destination that is real - right here and right now. And in the quietude of that space we just might find the clarity and the guidance we crave.
Today, may we be present.
Click Here if you can contribute a few dollars to help me with this journey, Click Here to email me and Click Here to go to the travel journal website.
Carpe Diem !!