Traveling to Bodh Gaya

On a train, on the way to Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha was enlightened.

In the coach, there is a great, free-ranging discussion about life, the dharma (Buddhist teachings) and practical matters such as how not to get food poisoning. But thoughts drift away from the present moment as well, to the place where we are going-for Buddhists, the holiest site in the world-and its significance. For what are we searching? This brings to mind our pasts, the things that need healing, the struggles to get to this point.

It is difficult to remain in the present moment, especially when the present moment is so strange. People riding in the belly of this huge, noisy, metal beast that spews diesel fumes and is saturated with grime. How different the passing villages, so green and tranquil.

I took this photo because it reminded me so much of the Great Depression in my own country; men riding rails searching for work, lost in their troubles, the promise of "progress" embodied in the impersonal machine of industrialization, swallowing up men and families, leaving nothing human in its wake.

To be in the midst of this on the way to the place of perfect peace!