Buen Camino

“You see, in our lives we have very little love, very little affection, very little sympathy. And without sympathy, affection, love, we might just as well be dead. You may be very clever at building a bridge, going to the moon, flying a jet at fifteen hundred miles an hour. But if you haven’t got the substance of life, which is sensitivity, feeling, affection, vitality, energy, then you become merely a cog in a vast machine, which is called society, and everybody then is concerned with reforming that cog, that machinery. So, if I may point out, right education is to make a human being highly sensitive to everything, not just to mathematics and geography only, but highly sensitive to everything. The highest form of sensitivity is the highest form of intelligence”.

-       J. Krishnamurti, Rajghat Besant School, Varanasi, India                   1 December 1964


What does it mean to love? What does it mean to feel? And I don’t just mean romantically, I mean: What does it mean to feel towards everything that is breathing and not? What does it mean to have feelings for the grass on the ground and the bird flying through the air? This is what J. Krishnamurti talks about in the excerpt above. As we become highly intelligent with our minds, where does our ability to feel go? Is there a balance that emerges as a result of this high intelligence and ability to create ‘things’ that contribute to the constant and rapid evolution of our society?

These are questions I’ve sat with over the past year. These are questions that have slowly seeped into my thoughts as I set out on a life changing almost 11-month journey around the world on July 2015. It’s been a little over year since those questions made me re-evaluate every single dimension of my life including my education, relationships, work, identity, etc.

Slowly, as I delved into my deeper self, I learned that the root to all human suffering lies within me. The root to all suffering is within me. Each environmental, economic, social, cultural, or educational issue we see in our world today simply lies at the root of our disconnection from nature and our true selves. Coming from a background in tech, business, and non-profits, I came from a world of the ‘mind’. I was used to finding solutions with my mind, not my heart. From an early age, I knew I wanted to fall into service work, but went through a winding path to find the true definition of service.

If this winding path has taken me anywhere, it’s to a place that has made me realize we live in a society that runs faster than our brains can process. It’s to a place that has made me realize that I can’t serve anyone unless I serve myself. It’s to a place of walking and feeling.

A couple of months ago, I felt a calling towards walking, or taking a pilgrimage as many others may call it. After, spending some time in Spain along the Camino de Santiago, my heart tugged at having a journey across the path that is popularly visited by pilgrims each year. As I embark on this journey in early September, I’m not sure what to expect. Each time I try to articulate my reasons for embarking on this journey, I feel at a loss of words. All I can say is that my journey has led me towards understanding my vision for the world can only come true if that vision is cultivated within myself.

I lead myself further into inner stillness and peace, one moment, one step, and one breath at a time. 


Originally Published on Kaelee Dooley's Blog

Rina PatelComment