The Backdrop – The Buildup to the Spiritual Trip
Back in 1994, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) crooned his famous last words, “Life’s a journey, not a destination …” These are lyrics from ‘Amazing’. The 1994 Billboard chart-topping track still has the ring of truth in it!
We plan, program, and action our agendas, goals, and objectives with a quirky tenacity all through our lives. Yet, our convergence to the desired success often proves to be an elusive chase. The baffled mind crouches in the defensive mode for all plausible explanations, but then, as Aerosmith famously crooned in the last millennium, “… And I just can’t tell just what tomorrow brings” all our efforts hang by a thread.
As a professional and individual, I too struggle with the ‘And I just can’t tell just what tomorrow brings” part, which primarily is the Uncertainty Factor. The constant chase of goals and ambitions amplified by the uncertainty about success brews the most deadly cocktail called ‘ the Rut’. Once in the rut, the brain gets flustered with patterned thinking. With determined and ruthless precision, the rut then ordains the contours of our future- day after day, month on month, and year on year … Not so amazing!
Getting back to the ‘life’s a journey …’ part. One may literally borrow some time off it to break free from the rut. To free the mind of its patterned thinking and silos, and to carve out a retreat for the rutted spirit. It seemed to be a worthy proposition to me in Oct 2017. So, I sought an escape from the clutches of the irreverent time that had mercilessly saddled my mind-horse with the weight of the routine tasks.
My Visit to the Monastic Divinity
This is one such escape that simply refuses to blur from my mind. It was my visit to Rumtek Monastery in the remote hills of Gangtok, Sikkim, a Himalayan state of north-eastern India.
The monastery belongs to the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the largest in Sikkim that was built by Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (the 16th Karmapa) between 1959 and 1966 after he fled from Tibet – a nation that is still under the Chinese occupation. The once-dominant and now largely forgotten credo of Buddhism still finds resonance in these remote hills of Gangtok.
While looking over the ‘Thanka’ murals, golden Stupas (Ghanziras), and silk paintings, my mind drifted towards an esoteric chain of thoughts: That all religions begin with a sublimity as fragile as faith. The fragile yet divine faith then goads humanity to extraordinary realizations. The realizations are the awakening that culminates as religion. Ironically, religion then hardens into rituals and gets limited by lineage.
The souls of the masters have an unmissable message that could spark divine deliverance. Its gravity is never missed by the genuinely inclined lot for Buddha’s message is meant for the true seekers. And, its quintessentially divine interpretation isn’t tethered to succession or lineage.
The serene and surreal feel of the monastic solace afforded me precious moments of soulful reflections and peace of mind. Perhaps, affected by the calming ambiance of the place.
Watch the travelogue video to discover more…
A Hearty Note of Gratitude Goes Out to … the ingeniously creative composer, singer, musician, and my fellow tribal from BIZCATALYST 360° – Eyra Moon, who most magnanimously allowed her divinely composed song ‘I AM’ as ambient music for the travelogue video. The song has an aura and feel that irresistibly captures the spirit of the travelogue.
Take Care …