"La Quinta Cove Path"
The neighborhood where we live out here in the desert is known as the La Quinta Cove -a magnificently beautiful area nestled right up against the Santa Rosa Mountains and right at the edge of a vast desert wilderness. And what makes living here even better is that there is a 5-mile path that runs along the fringes of the cove. The trail is lined by wilderness bushes, desert cacti and exotic trees and as you walk the path you can gaze up at the towering mountains and look out into the miles of wilderness on the desert floor. It really is like walking through paradise and I hike along that pathway every day.
In the summer months I am often the only person on the cove path, but at this time of the year there are almost too many people on the trail as crowds of tourists flock into the area escaping from sub- zero temperatures and mounds of snow in other places in the country, out into this 80 degree climate of sunshine and blue skies as the desert blossoms into spring.
I've been told that throughout this weekend there are literally no hotel rooms available throughout this entire region. So I guess I wasn't all that surprised by what I encountered yesterday as I walked along my favorite path through the cove.
In the many surrounding hotels tourists are given literature about what to see in the area, and a "walk along the path through the beautiful La Quinta cove" is high on the "to do list." Yesterday I saw many tourists walking on the path with their hotel literature in hand, and at least twice I was stopped by people asking for directions about how to get to the La Quinta cove. With all the patience I could muster up I would smile and say, "You are already here in the cove, you are already on the path." I couldn't help but laugh as one lady looked up from the map on her brochure and said, "Yeah, I guess this really is a beautiful place, isn't it?"
I recall something the American Buddhist, Lama Surya Das, one said:
Whatever we are looking for is already right here.
We are usually elsewhere - that's the problem.
Yesterday's encounter with those tourists already on the path was such a great lesson about looking and searching and seeking - so many people looking for something more, something bigger and better and newer, so many people on a spiritual quest searching for God, for transcendence, for deeper truth and greater wisdom in life. The lesson I learned yesterday is that whenever any of us find ourselves on any sort of spiritual quest, all we need do is stop looking at the maps and look up to find that we are already here -- what we seek is where we are.
You don't have to come to a beautiful desert paradise to find beauty, to meet "God"or to encounter transcendence because every moment of every single day and in every single place in which we find ourselves is filled with beauty and abundant in Holy Presence. Driving in a car on a busy city street, walking through the piles of snow, sitting at a computer in an office, at a desk in school, or standing at the kitchen sink we can find that "everything we are looking for is already right here in the present moment as long as we are not elsewhere."
I'm thinking I may send a copy of my post today to the local chamber of commerce.