Monday, August 11, 2014

Are you too pulled by an inner sacred restlessness?

Entrance to ancient Roman Catholic Church in the tiny village of Cizhong, Yunnan province, China.

When people ask what draws me to places like remote African villages, tiny towns perched on Himalayan ledges or vineyards in dusty corners of China, I think of Siddhartha Gautama.

Siddhartha grew up sheltered behind walls of wealth and power. As a prince, he was shielded from any knowledge of  human suffering and religion.

But something happened at age 29. The Prince peeked over the garden walls of his compound to see the poor, the sick, the dying, all the human suffering outside of his walls; and he saw monks. He left to seek.

What was that restlessness that pulled Siddhartha away from a luxury life at home?   

Something about Tibetan Buddhism elicits a strong familiar attraction for me. Like a magnet, the Feilai Buddhist Temple, about 10 km from Deqen, pulled me in. Deqin County, Yunnan province, China.
A woman with her traditional apron spins the prayer wheels at the Feilai Tibetan Buddhist Temple near Deqen, Deqin County Yunnan province, China.

Likewise, I'm restless. Something seems hidden. I need to go out to find it.  My journeys too are born of an inner sacred restlessness.

The ancient Catholic church stands out in the tiny village of Cizhong, Yunnan province, China. And yes, those are Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the foreground.

Here I am searching for spiritual threads among the Mursi tribe in the Omo region of Ethiopia. Honestly, I don't see the big picture of why I'm there. I just trust, knowing prayer and meditation led me there.

On this journey, I look in every corner without prejudice or preconceptions. Sometimes when I tell Christian friends the kind of things I experience, they worry. Don't worry, Christ is still my guiding light. This is the most powerful Himba shaman (witch doctor) in the Epupa Falls area going into a trance in Namibia, Africa. He told me that I would find a secret.

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