Pausing to contemplate where you are on your life’s journey and your place in the universe is worth doing at regular intervals. Beyond reflecting on business or personal relationships, it’s also a chance to think about the many ways people choose to live, culturally or as individuals. I often find it easier to do when I remove myself from the daily hurly burly when I am traveling.
In a beautiful setting like the fabulous Golden Pavillion Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto I thought about how we can choose how we look at the world. If one looked across the clam waters of the lake to the pavilion and the manicured garden you see a serene vista. If you turned 180 degrees you saw the crowds of people being ushered to the “picture point” to take their snap or selfie then be hustled on the paths and back to the vendors outside.
With a little imagination and a sense of history you can think how the site was when it was a private home and then a temple for quiet contemplation instead of a busy tourist destination with the masses jostling for their trinkets at the shrine. Instead of rushing I found a quiet area to observe a graceful heron in a small pond.
It was a good analogy that we need to find a peaceful mindset in the midst of our crowded daily lives too. We just have to choose our view on the world: chaos or beauty.