When I travel, I travel light.  Everything has to fit into a carry on suitcase and a purse.  This 6-month trip is no exception. I’m flying with a roller board suitcase and a backpack (I figured a backpack would be better suited to life in the jungle than a purse would.).

From a practical level, traveling light makes a lot of sense.  My luggage is easy to handle and I can carry it all at once.  We don’t actually need a whole lot of stuff to live comfortably, and by traveling light I winnow down my belongings to only those things that I truly need or want to have with me.  And, if there is ever a freak snow storm in the jungle, I can always buy a sweatshirt!

From a spiritual perspective, traveling light is symbolic of how I want to travel through life.  I don’t want to be burdened with all sorts of things that I don’t want to carry with me, such as guilt, remorse, or anger. These things cause me to become “stuck” and unable to move forward in my life because of the weight of them.

A friend reminded me of the tale of two male monks.  They were on a spiritual journey, and had taken a vow of silence as well as one to not have contract with members of the opposite sex. When they reached a river that they had to cross, they came across a woman who couldn’t cross the river.  Without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, put her over his shoulder and carried her across the river.  Putting her down, he and his fellow monk went on their way.  After walking in silence for quite some time, the younger monk could no longer keep quiet.  He turned to the older monk and said, “How could you have broken your vow and carried that woman across the river?”  The older monk replied, “Our purpose here is to help others, and so I did.  However, once I helped her across the river, I put her down.  You have been carrying her all this way.”

One of my goals on this trip is to put down anything I no longer need or that doesn’t serve me well – fears, old hurts, negative emotions that are holding me back – and walk and travel unencumbered through life.  What can you release so that you’re traveling lighter?

 

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