foreword to musings  
  while traveling is something i generally enjoy, it has a motive beyond just traveling. it is a combination really. it's a way of expanding one's consciousness, one's awareness, of understanding better our world, other cultures, people, societies, ways of living, eating, making love, worshipping, walking, laughing, using the toilet, and expressing appreciation and joy. it is a way of almost constantly having to confront oneself, one's prejudicies and judgements. life is truly done with mirrors. it seems to me a rapid fire way of potentially awakening because of having to see oneself so frequently. it's not about the other person or culture. it's about me, my actions, reactions, and attitudes in response to each event or encounter. this does not necessarily excuse or approve of another's behavior, nor does it suggest that the other does not have his own issues. however, that is most always something that is out of our hands. we are enough!

naturally i don't want to see all this. i want to point a finger at the other, to judge - and remain asleep! assuredly, if i travel with a pointed finger i will become so frustrated and indignant that for the sake of all, it would be best for me to return home. it would indicate clearily that i would not yet be ready for something so intense. i don't see this as a fault, but simple as a statement of where i am in my journey. however, if my defenses are developed enough, i might well be able to travel for a time and place many encounters in a category of being primitive and uncivilized while going on my merry superior way. at times i see this in myself, and often at more and more subtle levels. it's not always so blatant and obvious but can be hidden vaguely under an appearance of humility and understanding. we can become quite clever in this way.

in theory, this can all be done while sitting in an easy chair at home. it is true that all we need is right within us, we don't have to go anywhere. yet some of us seem to benefit from an earthquake, a slap in the face (gently please!) to bring us to a place of opening and possible change through becoming vulnerable. traveling in other cultures, other countries, particularily third world countries, i would say, understandably makes this more accessible than the comfort of my easy chair. speaking for myself here!

i'm convinced we are here in this lifetime on planet earth for more than a partner, profession, cars, kids, power and material possessions as wonderful as all these can be. i see these simply as the vehicles we each have chosen through which we might awaken. we are here to wake up, to return to our Original Face, to become the Living Truth. or perhaps more accurately. to peal away the layers that hide and imprision the Living Truth that we already are. this requires the destruction of our biography and the destruction of our conditioning. for many, and for me, traveling is a way of allowing this process to unfold.

so i muse, observe, contemplate, try to keep an empty cup, and witness what happens. sometimes!

Copyright © 2005 Wayne Yoder. All rights reserved.