Life is a journey, and the ultimate goal of our journey is happiness. In life, more or less everything we do is for happiness. To start a journey, a clear destination is needed, so that we can follow and get to the right destination. Without a clear destination, we go round and round and back to the same point, or the journey will cause us a lot of trouble. “What is our destination” is the proper question to ask ourselves right here and now.
When we are clear about destination, next we should prepare ourselves by planning the journey and selecting provisions properly; don’t overload ourselves. Most of us carry a lot of junk or rubbish, so we have to leave all the rubbish and take only the necessary things. Bikkhu Kumarakassapa told Governor Payasi the following story. Once upon a time, there were two close friends who were seeking for precious things overseas. First of all they found hay, so each of them collected and carried it, thinking that they might sell it for cattle food. When they had walked a long way, they found a big parcel of gold. The first friend said, “Friend, we should throw away the bunch of hay and carry the parcel of gold home.” The second friend refused, “No no, I won’t throw it away, because I have carried it quite a long way. I won’t throw it away easily. You can take it alone if you like.” So the first one threw away the bunch of hay and carried the parcel of gold home instead. When they got back home, the first friend was praised by his family, but the second one was blamed by his family because he had been stupid enough to carry the hay home. With us it is the same, we sometimes carry lots of junk. We’d better carry the parcel of gold, or the necessary things.
To be a good traveller, we need to know how to read a map, and get well prepared for the journey. There are so many things which are not important distracting us along the way, so we have to be wise on our journey. We should remember that when we were first born we had nothing, we started life’s journey with empty hands. Along the way we grasped at many things, thinking that possessions could make us happy: in fact they were distractions or burdens which delayed us on our journey. We should carry only the necessities of life, and be contented with what we have. In this way we can find happiness, because it is easy to get if we have right understanding. On the other hand if we are burdened with ignorance, even though happiness is within reach, we cannot experience it. If we have everything, but lack right understanding, life is troublesome. For instance, a man with a lot of money but no wisdom, may use his money to buy things which destroy his own life. As long as we have wisdom, or right understanding, we do not fear either loss or gain, in life.
Some people ask where is the human destination. The answer is that the destination is in every step of life. It is along the journey. Some might think it is the future, so they are worried about it. In fact it is right here and now; it is what we experience in the present life. If we hold on to many things, we will be depressed. This means that we get stuck. If we are contented with what we have, we can get happiness. Success is with us today, it is not in the future. What have you done today? What have you gained today? These questions should be asked so we can know where we are now, or how far we can get. Where are you now?
Source : http://www.buddhapadipa.org/dhamma-corner/life-is-journey/