The Long Journey In
“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” -Rumi
This is one of my favorite quotes. Many mornings, when I sit down to meditate, I answer this question. "Now," I tell Rumi, "now I am taking the long journey into myself…"
When I was in India, we often discussed the controversial idea that no books, no gurus, no teachers were needed to find the answers to our questions. If we needed answers, we could find them within ourselves.
When our teacher first presented this idea, many of us were outraged. How? How is it possible that we could be who we are without books, knowledge and teachers? How is it possible that if we sat alone in silence, we would find the answers?
I think this point has much validity. However, I also believe our teachers, our books and our gurus, may lead us deeper into ourselves. As if they walk us to the door but leave us to turn the knob on our own.
So - the point…
No blog, no social media, no person will give us the answers or change us. No diet, no yoga teacher, no material thing, not even a therapist will change us. They may lead us to the door, but we are the ones who need to turn the knob. Never give anyone that responsibility, it does not belong to them.
Conversely, remember that we cannot change others. Be a supporter, be a listener. Lift others by lending an ear instead of an ego. Foster an environment of empowerment and inward reflection.
In a world filled with stimuli, it is hard to find time to be silent and introspective. It often seems easier to look somewhere else for satisfaction. However, taking time to be silent and process our day/week/month is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. We are our greatest teachers. We deserve the time to journey inward to listen to the teachings.
I will leave you here with this point more eloquently stated by Krishnamurti:
"I think there is a process of learning which is not related to wanting to be taught. Being confused, most of us want to find someone who will help us not to be confused, and therefore we are merely learning or acquiring knowledge in order to conform to a particular pattern; and it seems to me that all such forms of learning must invariably lead not only to further confusion but also to deterioration of the mind. I think there is a different kind of learning, a learning which is an inquiry into ourselves and in which there is no teacher and no taught, neither the disciple nor the guru. When you begin to inquire into the operation of your own mind, when you observe your own thinking, your daily activities and feelings, you cannot be taught because there is no one to teach you. You cannot base your inquiry on any authority, on any assumption, on any previous knowledge. If you do, then you are merely conforming to the pattern of what you already know, and therefore you are no longer learning about yourself.”
So, I ask you - when will you begin the long journey into yourself?
Sit. Find a moment of silence. Listen to the voice inside...it has things to say. The more we give it the time of day, the more we will find peace.