Ours is a Journey into Nearness

by Ben Carter

We often cast our spiritual quest—our grappling with fundamental human issues—as a journey. But the kind of journey we'll embark upon is not a journey in the usual sense of the word. 

Generally we think of a journey involving movement and direction, either going out somewhere into the world or else leading inward, into the self. But in Buddhism our journey must go nowhere—neither in nor out. Rather, ours is a journey into nearness, into immediacy. Our journey must be to awaken here an now, to awaken to here and now. To be fully alive, we must be fully present.

—from Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen, p. 19 (Broadway Books, 1997)