EVERY EXIT IS AN ENTRY
SOMEWHERE ELSEAt the end of every journey I embarked upon, I always like to know what I have learnt from it. Perhaps it’s not important to some, but it matters to me because the journey gives me a great opportunity to see the real world I live in – suffering alongside compassion, sorrow alongside happiness, life alongside death.
In his acclaimed spiritual masterpiece, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche speaks of death in the modern world. “People today are taught to deny death, and taught that it means nothing but annihilation and loss. That means that most of the world lives either in denial of death or in terror of it. Even talking about death is considered morbid, and many people believe that simply mentioning death is to risk wishing it upon ourselves.”
The simple truth is, life and death are seen as one whole. On the day we were born, we began to die. Our lives are like an hourglass that never stops… each moment follows the one before, without end. From moment to moment, life drains away. We are babies, then adults, then old and dead. Each moment follows the one before, without end. Our lives are like a bubble or a candle, impermanence and death are like the wind!
On the many trips to those far-flung places, like the ones in Pashupatinath or Varanasi where sadhus abound, I’ve witnessed deaths amidst births. I become aware of my own ignorance about my existence in this karmic world, of my own helplessness about impermanence in everyday life, and of my unwillingness to withdraw myself from all samsara pleasures.
The roads ahead are waiting. For me, and you, and all sentient beings.
The journey never ends. Only travellers come to an end.
One of the windows, Angkor Wat, Cambodia.