Editor’s note: Ed Bacon is traveling to Asia, and during his trip, he will meet with the Dalai Lama. He will be blogging throughout his trip. Here is his first posting:
Hope and I leave tomorrow night for our first Asian journey. It seems momentous on many levels and so, as I report about the trip, I will try to express and examine as many levels as my awareness allows.
Right now, I know that she and I have all the pre-journey jitters all sojourners have –- arranging for friends to be in our home with the pets, packing the right clothes for five different climates (Mongolia, Dharamsala, New Delhi, Nepal and Bangkok), and the spiritual dimensions of visiting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, touching deeply into Buddhism and Hinduism, encountering a level of poverty and “people density” we’ve never experienced, encountering some of the world’s great wonders: the Taj Mahal, Mount Everest, the Himalayas, the River Ganges and more, and visiting the place where beloved Thomas Merton died in Bangkok, December 10, 1968.
Merton’s relationship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama continues to make its spiritual presence known in my thinking and praying. It was through Merton’s Asian Journal that I first learned of His Holiness. And today Merton’s prayer seems to be my prayer also:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” ― Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
I will try to post reflections frequently because so many are praying for us with interest and investment and I am aware that I am representing both the people of All Saints Church, Pasadena and a wider community of encouraging friends, readers, and spiritual seekers.
For now I will list a few of the books I have been reading and that will accompany us on this path. I care as much about the books I carry on trips as the clothing.
With deep love and gratitude, I welcome your prayers and responses.
Books by the Dalai Lama: My Spiritual Journey; The Art of Happiness; The Mind’s Own Physician (edited by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Richard Davidson); Destructive Emotions (a scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama narrated by Daniel Goleman)
Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva
Richard Rohr, Yes, And…
Daniel Siegel, Mindsight