I have recently been thinking a lot about a conversation I had with a friend who had been backpacking Asia for two months. What we talked about resonated with me more so than any conversation I had in the United States during my brief eight-month stint back home.
She had just experienced a Buddhist enlightenment for the first time and what she told me made me reflect my own lifestyle. It served as a bit of travel inspiration for me.
She made the claim that she’s “had enough tap water for now”, which on the surface doesn’t have much inspiration attached to it. It wasn’t until she explained herself that I started feeling moved by our conversation.
My friend was amidst going through a life-changing experience; just as most of us experience while traveling. She had run into her ‘I need to keep living abroad’ moment among other signs your third eye is opening.
Like me at the time, she had never been outside of the Western world until taking on her backpacking Asia trip. What she described is a lifestyle and experience that is completely unknown by Westerners.
You see, being on the more developed and fast-paced side of our planet, our lives pick-up quick. People become busy, free-time is lost, and generally, we tend to lose sight of what is really important to us. We tend to get caught up in obligations we’ve made for others, tasks that are meaningless to us, and working toward the next level of a life with no passionate direction. We suffocate ourselves in our pursuit to further develop.
“I’ve had enough tap water for now.”
She mentioned this to me in relation to being fed up with the life she was feeling pressured to lead. Backpacking Asia proved to her that she wasn’t getting what she wanted out of the life she was choosing back home.
What she meant was she’s had enough tap water of the western, developed world for now. That hit me like a brick. It’s so true for me and I’m sure many others, as well.
We move so fast through life in this hemisphere that we don’t take the time to pay attention to where the journey is taking us.
Buddhist Enlightenment: The “A-ha!” moment. . .
My friend spoke with a Theravada monk in Chiang Mai, Thailand for several hours of which she referred to as one of the most enlightening moments of her life. She realized when speaking to this monk just how big the world really is (she didn’t have to speak in a Buddhist language).
There are people just like us on the other side of the planet who live a life unfathomable in the eyes of westerners. However, she learned that just being there as a Westerner are signs your third eye is opening to the rest of the world.
There is even something more to that, though. Theravada monks do not believe in wanting happiness because happiness is intertwined with struggle and selfish desires. In order to be happy, you have to get through the struggles. We are only responsible for the obligations that we commit ourselves to. There should be no reason to live a life you don’t seek simply for the sake of another’s happiness.
That is difficult for most of us to truly understand because the simple freedom that life offers is completely disharmonious with the structure of the western world. Life can be as simple as we want to make it. There’s no reason to worry about yesterday. There’s no reason to worry about tomorrow. Living for today will bring us a life that we seek. This is exactly what the Theravada monk spoke to my friend about.
Making sense of this Buddhist Enlightenment. . .
I may be rambling now, but I believe in what I am writing and you are reading. I think at some point in our lives, everyone will come across their enlightening moment. A point in which things start to make sense and the way your life is moving starts to pick up some passion. These are all signs your third eye is opening to a world unknown to you and you have accepted it.
A Buddhist Enlightenment: Signs your third eye is opening
There’s so much to be learned from the “undeveloped world”. For beginners, maybe we should consider how we define the word “developed”. The countries that we consider inferior to the western world may be more developed culturally, communally, and morally. Maybe instead of looking down on the “third world countries”, we should instead be inspired by the lives they lead.
Truthfully, I am inspired by many third-world cultures and traditions. The way countries I’ve been to, such as Algeria, are able to grow their community through love and a desire to help their neighbor is truly lost by most of the Western world. There’s a thing or two that these so-called “undeveloped” countries can teach you; such as things that change over time.
Even more, it made me realize just how big this world is (I know it is cliché, but it called for some reflection). How is it possible that there are humans on the opposite side of the world that are living a life in a way that I know nothing about? It bites at me not knowing what it’s like. I want to know.
I think curiosity (among other signs your third eye is opening) is one of the key components of worldly knowledge and making the world closer. You have to have a desire to learn from those who have a different perspective than you in order to get the most out of a Buddhist enlightenment; even when speaking in a foreign Buddhist language.
The Buddhist religion teaches that salvation is earned by learning to give up selfish desires. While I’m not religious, I believe buying into a message like that are signs your third eye is opening to humanity and is an example of things that change over time.
The conversation I had with my friend backpacking Asia has inspired me to search for my own “a-ha!” moment. Sometimes you need the signs your third eye is opening to the world. Hell, maybe that conversation was my “a-ha!” moment. A Buddhist enlightenment from a real Buddhist language is an experience I will look forward to.
I was moved by the conversation and I hope by sharing this, it will inspire others to shine a new light on countries we otherwise looked down on for one reason or another. There’s something to learn from every culture, sometimes all it takes is a chance.