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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Pilgrimage, Distinguished

"...a pilgrimage distinguishes itself from an ordinary journey by the fact that
it does not follow a laid-out plan or itinerary, that it does not pursue a
fixed aim or a limited purpose, but that it carries its meaning in itself, by
relying on an inner urge which operates on two planes: on the physical
as well as on the spiritual plane. It is a movement not only in the outer,
but equally in the inner space, a movement whose spontaneity is that of
the nature of all life, i.e. of all that grows continually beyond its momentary
form, a movement that always starts from an invisible inner core ."

"Thus the pilgrimage in the outer space is actually the mirrored
reflection of an inner movement or development, directed towards a yet
unknown, distant aim which, however, is intrinsically and seed-like contained
in the very direction of that movement. Herefrom springs the
readiness to cross the horizons of the known and the familiar, the readiness
to accept people and new environments as parts of our destiny, and
the confidence in the ultimate significance of all that happens and is in
harmony with the depth of our being and the universality of a greater life.
Just as a white summer-cloud, in harmony with heaven and earth,
freely floats in the blue sky from horizon to horizon, following the breath
of the atmosphere-in the same way the pilgrim abandons himself to the
breath of the greater life that wells up from the depth of his being and
leads him beyond the farthest horizons to an aim which is already present
within him, though yet hidden from his sight."

The Way of the White Clouds
Lama Anagarika Govinda

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