What is it that attracts a person to this pilgrimage? From as far back as we can remember, we can each sense a mystery in being alive. When we are present at birth, or witness the death of a loved one, both opposites become a tangible mystery. It is present when we gaze at a glorious sunset or find a moment’s silent stillness in the flowing seasons of our days.
Whatever our initial vision of this journey might be, to be authentic, it must be fulfilled here and now, in the place where we live. Every prison, every palace can be sites of awakening. Where we are going on this journey is already here as we open our heart to what is in front of us. Where we are is the only place for the perfection of patience, peace, compassion, and the ultimate freedom.
The awakening on this journey may hide from us for years waiting until we raise our children or finish our busy-ness of careers. Someday, though, it will break down the gate and say loudly, “Ready or not, here I am!” It is as if the wind has changed and a weather vane – still centered in the same spot – now points in a different direction: back to this moment.
It is in “this moment by moment” that our identity expands to include everything, and when it does, we find a peace with the dance of the whirling world around us. Both birth and death, joy and pain, are all ours. Our hearts are large enough to embrace it all. We find that we are no longer grasping for another world different from the one we have. We are home.
Our journey of awakening is steadily met by an insistent grace that draws us to the edge and beckons us to surrender safe territory and enter our enormity.