Every gate is a doorway to a secret.
Leaving the port, the driver explained that this was a place that had drawn different waves of cultures for over 2,000 years, Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, Christians.
The first thing you notice, approaching from the sea, is the great wall of Montgo mountain, looming over the pretty town below, majestically reassuring.
Walking before sunrise along narrow streets that are tranquil during the day, empty and discreet in the darkness, lights leading to the mountain shores gave way to ancient terraces, to limestone rocks, tinted blue by the twilight, steps like stones in a black river that ran down from the sky and secret places.
From the slopes it appears that the entirety of the broad plain below is enclosed against the rest of Spain, an open shell on the seashore cut off from the flow of history.
And in this place, a graffiti’d ruin at the foot of the mountain, the youths have come to tickle their itch for freedom, for mystery and broken rules. This is a town where people are captives of a kind of peace, where inner callings run along the walls of safe routines, looking for openings that pictures of the wider world suggest are elsewhere.
Boredom is a crossroads that modern impulses try to solve with more stimulation. But the restlessness that follows the satisfaction of our basic needs can lead, also, deeper into what that restlessness can show us about ourself.
There was a talk once in the desert, in a tiny, temporary world on the other side of this one where it was said “You can’t hear God if you have to pee.” It was that there are concentric circles of needs, and that the crisis and opportunity for people who have checked all the boxes, as far as what should make them happy, is that they are in a unique position to appreciate the limits of chasing things, chasing experiences.
Having everything, having nowhere to go, nothing to attain or achieve, Buddha stood with his back to the door that opens to the soul. And sitting under the Body tree, he turned from the flow of history and went in.
That we always try to cover up what we call boredom is to continually look away from the part of us that makes us bored.
Every degree of suffering is a glimpse into the layers of our false face, revealing itself in the mirror of reality.
The part of us that sees suffering, that is aware of suffering, does not suffer. It is the water in which unhappy thoughts and feelings swim.
We are raised as these unhappy fish, not knowing that we are the water that allows and flows with everything.
And that when we are turned into vapor by the truth that shines at all times, even when we don’t see it, we are not destroyed because one day again we return in the rain to feed the endless expansion of life.
Traveling, looking back across life through places that feel different turns and churns the elements of our incarnation that the latent quest for identity is always trying to settle.
We need to move, and we need to be still, and which at which time is a rhythm that no one else, and no model or doctrine can tell us. It is something we each can feel through signs that speak to us alone through our unique versions of universal experiences.
Our civilization has become so rational that the power of intuition has become clouded by the density of our societal preconceptions.
Satellite maps create straight lines to where five-star reviews tell us is where we should go. But when you wander, when you don’t know, is when you are open to receive. And that is where the intuition, the inner intelligence that does not require perfect information, is reborn.
What is left in a place after the pictures have been taken? It is something that takes time to express itself to us, more time than the restless momentum normally allows.
To sit in that fire, as the mind makes its reasons to press on to the next more tangible gratification is to open the door to real freedom, which is where there is no inner fight or flight from the present.
Compared to psychedelic adventures, sex, cinema, the torrent of thought one’s inner being is initially subtle, seemingly an inadequate alternative to all the modern forms of stimulation.
But with simply noticing what is happening in the body, the mind, without labeling, judging, trying to change it, our immersion increases into the deeper waters of life. And all the external stuff then also becomes more beautiful, while we are simultaneously less dependent on it.
Staring up from the heart of the sea, as the sun glitters down across the shadows of who we were, is the layer of each one of us that transcends the drama of forms.
Suffering’s gift is that when we can stop externalizing its source, when we begin to recognize its roots in the unobserved ego, awareness begins to spontaneously arise. More ego becomes apparent, tries to correct itself, and then awareness expands gradually in turn, to embrace eventually all colors and shapes passing through us.
There is an energy in very old places. Not that everyone can perceive it right away, but imagining that it is there, can open us to listen. Listening not just with the ears but with the whole body. Listening as if everything, even the rocks are speaking, brings us, over time, deeper into that unbored space that runs silently under thoughts like a river between all things.