The Never Ending Train Journey to Somewhere Better
4th January 2023
The Endless Train Journey to Somewhere Better
When we are young, perhaps somewhere between 4 and 6 years of age we begin to believe that adults have life sorted, and they know where they are going - how wrong could we be!. It may not be explicit, but that is the assumption we come to.
We look at them and we think, I want to go where they are going, they are adults and so of course they are wiser than I, and understand this world perfectly.
To illustrate this let’s use a metaphor of a train journey. It’s almost as if when we are young we hop on a train along with all the adults and head to a place called Somewhere Better. After all that’s where everybody is heading.
The only problem is that this place, the destination called Somewhere Better doesn’t exist. Once in a while the train may slow down enough for us to look out of the window and believe we have reached the destination. However, what we see is a sign post saying Somewhere Better, with an arrow pointing to the future. So the train picks up speed and off we go on the endless journey.
Let’s play with this metaphor. Suppose the train stops, we get off at this place we believe is Somewhere Better. We are excited, we explore all the new scenery, it’s exciting - for a little while anyway. Then after a time we begin to get bored, this is not any better than the last place we think to ourselves. So onto the train we get and head to a place called Somewhere Better.
As you can see it’s endless. The mind, because of its conditioning in a culture that is forever restless, ceases to realise that THIS IS IT. The mind deeply believes that there is a better time and place. Now I am not saying we don’t make common sense decisions like sending our children to the best school we can, to get a job which suits our temperament and needs. I am not saying that we don’t look after our health, and that we don’t do what we can to regain health, if we are ill. These are just common sense things that will always do whenever possible.
What I am saying is that looking after our health is just that, looking after out health. The mind however, will never be satisfied for long. Once we have regained health then the old pattern of this is not enough will kick in.
We all, to different degrees come from a belief that we are not good enough, that life as it is, is not enough for me. So the mind offers us what I call mind carrots, promises of a better future. We fall for this over and again, which just keeps us restless and discontent.
The way to contentment is not endlessly following these mind carrots with the hope that some day we will be perfect, and life will fit our picture of how it should be. It is seeing the game which the mind is playing.
On our meditation retreats and all the mindfulness courses we run this is what we are sharing, a way of seeing this for ourselves. When we finally begin to stop following the endless thought streams, then we can begin to taste what it is like to be present here and now, to feel alive, and to know directly what contentment or peace is. This is the greatest blessing in life.
So long as we are on the Endless Train Journey our lives will fluctuate between hope, that all will be ok, and fear, that all will not be ok. Our attention is pulled again and again into these opposites, and it is no way to live a life.
Here at Mindfulness Unleashed we use any means we can to help each and every one of us to give up this game and to back to a place of sanity and joy.
We have many approaches to assist you in making this transition, we have one day meditation retreats in Leicester here in beautiful Newtown Linford, both in person and online. We have Walking Into Wisdom - Reflections of a Buddhist Dog Walker, these are FREE bite-size teachings, and meditations over WhatsApp .
We have Silent weekend meditation retreats and our Power of Presence our yearly five day residential at Stunning Nanpantan Hall in Leicestershire. (LINK)
Come Join us, if you are unsure begin with just a day retreat or the FREE walking into Wisdom.
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