Fil Van Den Bos: Graphic Artist
There are many travel books on the market that tell you how to get there, where to stay, what to see and what to do. And yet, they very often seem to miss out on the essence of a place somehow.
There are also many books on the market describing meditation techniques that focus on how to give up smoking; drinking; binging; how to have a more successful career; how to loose weight; how to create wealth and abundance. And yet, they very often seem to miss out on the essence of the meditation practice somehow.
I have come to the conclusion that we are so busy chasing our tails that we have forgotten where we are. This beautiful, blue planet has so much to offer, so much dversity and yet we seem to forget this jewel that we live on whilst in frantic pursuit to get things done. Achieving the goal in both travel and meditation, as opposed to living the experience,has often become the all important focal point.
Tick off the places on your list that you have visited and file the photographs away in some forgotten drawer. Achieve self-empowerment through meditation practice and in the process gain material wealth. Our materialistic attitudes apply to both travel and the outcome of meditation practice.
We often forget that we are in fact part of the planet, part and parcel of its diverse ecosystem. So, how about just being for a change? How about fully experiencing our surroundings from both an external point of view through the five senses and an internal point of view by realizing that our inner spirit, the sixth sense, is part and parcel of this great and wonderful world that we live in, not something separate or divided from it.
There have been moments in my life when it has all seemed worthwhile, when the plan so to speak, has completely and totally come together. When rather than remembering my spirit, my spirit remembers me and comes home again, if for only brief periods of time.
So, what is the inner spirit looking for? I have come to realize that it appears when I wet its appetite with something creative, beautiful, magnificent. It has been known to turn up at the Musee DOrsay on occasion when the vibrant colours of a Van Gogh catch its eye, or in Cairo whilst I am lying like a silly clot in the crypt in the Great Pyramid of Giza. You know, all the big ones ......... But on the whole, it is the wondrous diversity of this planet that lures the inner spirit down from its splendid heights.
This book is not only about travelling through my favourite places in Southern Africa, but it is also an attempt to see the world through the eyes of the inner spirit, to retain the memory, and to include a meditation at the end of each chapter. I have attempted to find the perfect place, to me anyway, that resounds with a certain chakra and best portrays it in earthly terms. I have also related each chakra to our historical evolution as well as our development through what Shakespeare aptly called the seven stages of man. I admit, I am a glutton for diversity and multidimensional thinking, so this book functions on many levels.
And yes, at the very end I have included all that other stuff. How to get there and places to stay with a list of web addresses for you to explore.
So, for a moment, forget the latest war in the news; earthquake; flood; famine and disaster. Leave your bond; your bank balance; your mother-in-law; ungrateful children; demanding boss; unpaid leave and those medical bills all behind. Let it go, let it be and come and join me here in Africa ...........
From the Introduction to: Meditations In My Favourite Places In Southern Africa. Gail Evans. copywrite 2001