Dad, where do roads end? Is there anywhere that’s really the end of a road?
~Svasti, approx. aged 10
Thus was the nature of my inquiring mind as a child… couldn’t quite conceive of how that all worked, and I guess it’s a rather zen question in some ways, isn’t it?
‘Course, my dad didn’t really have an answer, as it often happens with children and parents, when the child asks just one more question in wonderment of the world we live in and the parent has just absolutely had it… which is why I think all kids should have someone else to ask such questions of, not their parents. Might get better answers that way.
Speaking of things that never end, one of my favourite meditations to do is very simple actually…
Just sitting, watching your breath. Then, asking the following questions (off the top of my head, so not exact) and seeking clarification from within:
Is there an experience of ‘something happening’? Of being somewhere in time and space? Is it something that’s specific to you, or just something that exists? Can you define it? This something that’s happening? Is it personal? Does it have a location? Is it in any way tangible? Meditate on that…
Now, bring your attention to your right hand. Can you feel your skin? Its temperature? Where the air touches your skin? The hairs on the back of your hand? The blood just beneath the surface? The difference in temperature outside, to inside? Do you now feel more sensations in your hand than usual? See if you can spread this up your arm… across your chest… to your other arm… hand… spread it further? Abide in the presence of livingness, and ask yourself, is it limited to just your own skin-bag?
Okay, so that’s kinda paraphrased, but if you give it a go, you’ll get the idea. Its meant to be done without being in a rush, with plenty of time…
So anyway, as an adult (still with child-like questions at times) and a yogini and meditator, I still question the beginnings and the ends of things. And everything in between.
When my last out-breath is mixed with your next in-breath, and the trees inhaling our CO2 and the smoke of recent bushfires and burning houses fill my nostrils… where does one thing end and another begin?
Does it even matter? Perhaps not, but at the very least it matters in the sense of really getting that we’re not alone. That we’re not without. That no road ever really ends…
Well, as long as you’re not dead, that is (and even then, can we say for sure one way or the other, despite what we might believe?). Just take a step in any direction and that’s a new path.
So, tiny version of Svasti from many years ago, the correct answer is… Not really. Roads don’t ever really begin or end.
Neither does anything else. Not really. Things can seem to end, but what is an ending anyway?
We’re on a road to nowhere, come on inside
Taking that ride to nowhere, we’ll take that ride
~Talking Heads, Road to Nowhere