My wife Frances and I went to Maui and Kauai for our honeymoon (in 2001). One of the most amazing adventures we had (and there were many) was the day that we drove to Hana, which is on the north shore of Maui. Fortunately we had been informed that there really isn't anything all that special about Hana... it's just a small town with a couple of diners and shops, and there's not really all that much to do there except have lunch or dinner. However, the "road" to Hana winds through incredibly beautiful tropical rainforests which occasionally open up to reveal some of the most spectacular scenery found anywhere in the Hawaiian islands.
The Road to Hana is the perfect spiritual metaphor, giving real-world truth to the expression: "true happiness is in the journey, not the destination."
With over 600 curves (and many of them right on the edges of cliffs) and 54 bridges, the road isn't for the squeamish. Driving is slow, and if you don't stop at all it takes about 2-3 hours to get to Hana. But stopping is the whole point! There are often cars pulled over at various places along the road, and if you pull over to see why you might discover a hidden trail that leads deep into the rain forest. If you follow the trail it might take you to a scenic vista, or a swimming hole, or a water fall, or a waterfall that spills into a swimming hole. My wife and I found one big swimming hole where people were jumping off of the cliffs. We had a blast, and even got up the nerve to jump into the water with everyone else. We spent almost the entire day on the road to Hana, and didn't actually get to Hana until around dinner time. The drive back that night was a bit scary -- those hair pin turns at night, without street lighting, made even this long-time yogi forget to breathe on several occasions! But we made it home to our little bungalo safe and sound, and slept very well that night.
The Road to Hana is the perfect spiritual metaphor, giving real-world truth to the expression: "true happiness is in the journey, not the destination." It is all too easy to feel that we'll be happy when we accomplish some goal that we've created for ourselves, or when certain conditions are met. In my own life, I can remember a string of conditions and goals that I have at one time felt would bring me infinite happiness:
I know that I'm not alone in this -- it is really a human thing. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can learn how to enjoy life one moment at a time. We can set goals and move toward them, but we don't have to put all of our hope and energy into the accomplishment of our goals. Instead, we can learn how to pull over and enjoy all of the amazing moments along the way. And then ultimately, whether we "get" where we are going or not doesn't really matter... because we are right here, right now, where our lives are actually happening. Yesterday is already gone, tomorrow may never arrive, but today is right here and right now and is the only moment that actually exists.
-- Jason Brown
Jason Ray Brown
Is Yoga an Inherently Balanced Practice?, by Jason Brown