By Hieu Doan
All journeys require effort and energy, commitment and dedication. Like all journeys however, if walked long enough, experienced long enough, and reflected on long enough certain wisdoms will be integrated. The ability to walk longer and with less energy expended. The ability to be in the moment, and also outside of the moment. The ability to see ahead, as well as behind. The ability to understand, appreciate and experience meaning in the journey.
A journey may at times make us weary, at other times it may inspire us to great levels of energy. There may be times that we stop and in despair exclaim that we can never continue, and then in what is seemingly a new moment pledge that we will never give up. At times it may seem as if all we have achieved amounts to nothing, at other times it seems as if with all we have achieved we should surely have reached the peak by now. Through it all we may at times remember to look back at the person who we are, the person that is walking, reflecting, in joy, pain, grief, anger and love. At times we may look back in gentle compassion, other times may bring regret or remorse, love and passion, wonder and confusion. At times we may be reluctant to look back at all for fear of what we may see. At other times it may seem as if all we see, the good and the bad, clear and confusing is in perfect harmony, rolling along seamlessly like clockwork.
The truth of all journeys is revealed when we begin to look back, it is an opportunity that only exists in reflection and the fact that we do carry a past - as this past is what defines the journey. That past, that journey is our present. Where we choose to direct it from here and now is made available by the extent, depth and focus of our awareness and ability to observe. The thing about observation as it pertains to the realm of mental and spiritual consciousness however is that there are more shapes, directions and forms than in the physical. While the physical is 3 dimensional, the mental exists in potentially many more dimensions. This reality can be experienced and witnessed simply by observing dualities and contradictions easily and cheerfully existing in our consciousness regardless of our beliefs and views on how reality should be.
Empowerment comes not from dictating how reality should be but by understanding why reality is how it is, then learning how to affect this reality. Gaining perspective comes from stepping back and seeing the big picture, going up and seeing from a higher vantage point, moving to the edge of the game and seeing everything that is going on. In the realm of the mental and spiritual this going to the edge, going up and seeing the big picture works in more ways that in the physical. Just like dual, opposing and contrary directions and feelings can exist within the consciousness, so too going to the edge can mean going in, moving out, looking sideways, feeling in shapes, hearing in color, seeing in sound, smelling knowledge, tasting direction and communicating all of this information with a direction of mind that is moving more and more towards clarity. Traced back all of these ways of expression, listening and communication are found from one faculty that all of us have - awareness.