Visions in the desert linger on,
Tropics play with the mind.
Failing health may find a cure,
in the dark and forbidding forest
but cannot clear the mind-fog
of one's own creation.
In the cold mountain air,
the mind clears
when one needs for nothing.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
picture taken from http://bipblog.com/archives/3808294.html
There are holy sites scattered across the globe; each place possesses a special characteristic that is entirely its own, and yet, closely similar to the other holiest of spiritual places. The methods utilized by spiritual acolytes vary depending on the holy practice, but the end goal is the same. In the desert, mystics see visions of god and heaven. In the tropics, shamans lead the faithful through rituals of spiritual possession. In the thick forests of Europe and Asia, alchemists experiment with nature to explore the art of transmutation. In the soaring peaks of the Himalayas, sages of asceticism sequester themselves away in search of spiritual truth. These are not the only places to spiritual exploration, but are simply the most common. Ponder this question: Why are some climates and regions disposed to certain expressions of faith, while others are not? Is this merely coincidence? If you have visited any of these places, you can feel the essence imbued into the stone, earth, wood, and air. This is the force which has inspired countless generations.
You should be intensely aware of your surroundings. Become more sensitive to how and where you situate yourself. Do not be careless, whether selecting a home, a school, or a temple. Think of what you wish to achieve in this world, and place yourself in proximity to these goals. Narrow your choices by what you see and how you feel. Look around. Use your senses as well as reason. Is there healthy flora and fauna, or do you see dying grass and desperate animals? If you choose to stay, will you be subjected to extreme climates? If such extremes of weather negatively affect your health, then choose another place. When you move from wrong to right, you will finally begin to be sustained.
No place on earth is imbued with immortal, inexhaustible force. If you feel the flow of energy leave a certain place, go elsewhere in search of vitality. That is why those who follow Tao seldom fix themselves in any one place. The stream of Tao circles the globe and projects outward into the vast universe; the wanderer carried along by Tao's current never leaves home behind.