Thursday, October 10, 2013

Travel Alone

This from the 23rd chapter of Thomas Byrom's translation of the Dhammapada

"If the traveler can find
A virtuous and wise companion
Let him go with him joyfully
And overcome the dangers of the way.

But if you cannot find
Friend or master to go with you,
Travel on alone
Like a king who has given away his kingdom,
Like an elephant in the forest.

Travel on alone,
Rather than with a fool for company.
Do not carry with you your mistakes.
Do not carry your cares.
Travel on alone.
Like an elephant in the forest.

To have friends in need is sweet
And to share happiness.
And to have done something good
Before leaving this life is sweet,
And to let go of sorrow.
To be a mother is sweet,
And a father.
It is sweet to live arduously,
And to master yourself.

O how sweet it is to enjoy life,"

The point i take away from this is not that as we travel through this life, being alone is the best way to travel. That's not what i read. Rather, if you want a sweet life, choose your friends wisely. And even more important than those physical friends you spend parts of each day with are the thoughts that rattle around in your head all day — the entire day. The thoughts that you must consider especially great friends since you refuse to be separated from them. Since you try and hang on to their presence with every ounce of your energy.

Don't carry around your mistakes! Don't carry around your cares! Deal with them as needed and appropriate, drop them, and move on. Learn to control your mind. Learn to control your thoughts. It's not easy at first, but it can be learned; with effort, dedication, persistence, and commitment. Not your garden variety January 1st New Year's resolution type of commitment, but rock solid commitment. Swear to yourself that if you accomplish anything over the next 12 months, it will be to control your mind.

Learn to meditate. It's hard work, but if you do, "It is sweet to live arduously, And to master yourself."

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