Sunday, March 02, 2008

Rijumati's travels

FWBO News is pleased to present these excerpts from the travel diaries of Rijumati, an Order Member who for many years was one of the pillars of Windhorse:Evolution, the FWBO’s large Right Livelihood business in Cambridge, UK. The Western Buddhist Order has always contained great diversity of people, who have always been able to move freely between a wide variety of different lifestyles, based on their spiritual needs and Sangharakshita’s dictum “commitment is primary, the observance of the Ten Precepts secondary, and life-style tertiary, by which one would mean that although all three are of importance, the second is important as an expression of the first, and the third important as an expression of the second.”.

Rijumati’s diary is living proof of this. The letters were originally published in Shabda, the Order’s monthly journal.


Setting out

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By the time you read this I will be somewhere in the Arabian Sea on a freight ship bound to Sri Lanka.

This is the start of a period travelling around the world which will last a year or more and marks the end of an era of living in Cambridge. I've decided to travel without using any aeroplanes, hence the freight ship travelling to Colombo. This is partly because I want to avoid the carbon emissions implied in long haul air travel, and partly because I dislike the mode of travelling that ties one into airline deadlines and schedules.

As I got on the train from Cambridge it really felt like I was leaving - after 24 years of living there. Of course many of my friends, people I love, and my possessions are still there, but somehow leaving for an open period with no definite commitment to return felt like a parting. I leave behind a lovely girlfriend, a great community, dear friends and a meaningful job - and yet in the end I felt caged by the nice life that I had in Cambridge. It's crazy to give all that up, and yet I know in my guts that I'm doing the right thing, although I can't explain why. It's as if some part of me was pining away, despite all the wonderful things in my life. So I am cut adrift, wandering in the open sea of possibility.

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