There is an ancient saying, attributed to Lao Tzu, that did not make much sense to me when I first heard it.
I knew it had truth embedded in it, so I filed it away. I could not understand it, but I sensed that there was great value in it.
Now I understand what a priceless gem it is.
Curious? The saying is: “The day you stop traveling is the day you arrive.”
Think about your entire life. Think about today. Think about everything you do, everything you have done and everything you are going to do.
Right now, I am writing my blog so I can get it scheduled and off my plate before I head off to San Francisco to spend time with my grandkids. Then I will make dinner so we can eat, and we can watch the junk Netflix series that I am already bored of but my wife wants to watch a few more episodes and I am regretting that I introduced it to her.
You are working on your project report so you can get it to your boss before the deadline and if you get an OK you can begin your new initiative and if it succeeds you are a shoo-in for a major promotion and your bonus will double and you can buy that big mansion you have always had your eye on.
But before that happens you have to wash the pile of dirty dishes in your sink so you can stack them away and it does not offend your sensibilities and you have the feeling of minor accomplishment.
Think of it. It is your life.
Every day, every minute of every day, you are always doing something en-route to doing something else that will – you hope – get you to some state that you desire.
Even your meditation practice is hostage to this. You are constantly gauging whether you had a ‘good’ meditation and whether it was ‘better’ than the one you had yesterday and are there any hacks to make it better yet.
You are always traveling. The destination is always over the horizon.
You have lost the ability to just be.
In a previous blog I encouraged you to be ‘nobody.’
It is only when you are ‘nobody’ that you can just be. And then you stop traveling.
And you find that the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven are in front of you.
Remember, the purpose of washing dishes is not to get them clean.
The purpose of washing dishes is to wash the dishes. A by-product is that they become clean.
Now I understand that the day I stop traveling is the day I arrive.
I hope this makes sense and you understand also.