“If you cannot be a sun that illuminates the light, be a moon that never tires of reflecting the light.”
― Subhan Zein
What several days ago seemed an unusual sight has now become commonplace. I have learned that there are close to a million Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar, nearly all gilded in gold leaf. I’ve now become accustomed to looking up and seeing the sparkle of a golden stupa off in the distance, often in harsh juxtaposition to a fisherman’s transient hut made of bamboo. One of our guides said he is in constant disagreement with his family over the voluminous amounts of gold used in a land so impoverished.
In a country where between eighty and ninety percent of the population practice Buddhism, their contented nature now makes sense to me. Buddhism has been explained to me as not a religion, but a philosophy or way of thinking that leads to happiness. Being more spiritual than religious myself, this really speaks to me. They believe that peace comes from within, that you do not seek it from without. I’ve been able to do my yoga on the observation deck of the boat a few mornings. What a beautiful, peaceful experience; although I have to admit that I’ve had to open my eyes to peek at scenery on occasion.
I’ve heard I’m missing a good blizzard in New York. Hopefully there will be another one after I return so I can take Kerry for a walk and watch her have her fun. In the interim, I’ll continue to enjoy the Burmese sunrise for a few more days.