Monday, September 12, 2005

You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself...

The Buddha says: “You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.” The path is uncertain. Uncertainty is the guiding force. Nothing can be projected, counted on, leaned against. Home isn't the stable habitat one returns to again and again, the familiar space that holds one’s transformations through the years, remaining more-or-less the same: every day cleaning the same kitchen, washing the dishes, some with light scratches and chips, mopping the taupe tile floor, its tiny cracks, polishing the picture window that look out on the same view, except the trees have grown taller with the passing years. Home for those without a home is what you carry with you, your essence, your inner alter, your ability to love and be stable amidst change. This is what she is about to discover. How to enact continuity without a home, when home is someone else's space, filled with the accoutrements of another's living: when one borrows the necessities for living: a bed, a chair, a couch, a fridge, a phone. The challenge becomes how to feel at home where one is the guest, the boarder, the room-mate, the traveler passing through.

The hexagram of transition: between shells, when the inner soft fleshy essential core has outgrown its shell and discards it for another, this moment of vulnerability. The exploration of path here is in the movement between. Where it is uncertain, where everything is uncertain, where even tomorrow is a mystery that may bring shelter or abandonment to the forces of chaos. It is a place where nothing can be counted on, that is as fragile as a sleep when you don't know if you will awaken again or not. When the flow of the external world is unstable and appears as a dream, a series of unreal images, a projection on a screen that surely will be over soon so that you can go home and sleep in your own bed again. For a recluse to be thrown into a world of dependency on others, to be stripped of what is familiar: loved and well-worn furniture, a life gathered over the years in books, paintings, décor, knick knacks, mementos, clothes, of a home filled with the security of the gracefully collected, of the comforts of the known, stripped of what to withdraw to, is to be shorn of a warm mantle that is like a shawl, shorn of the weavings of a life…

Buddha quote from Southland's site


  1. Excellent Buddha quote. It's actually one of the quotes that drove me to find out more about Buddhism before following Buddhist teachings many months ago.

  2. I too have been musing about this saying for many months...It has drawn me nearer too that i wish to seek. A fuller life of knowledge and understanding who that i am.


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