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1700 Steps. Is It About Destination or the Journey?

Updated: Jan 27

My today's trip showed me more clearly than ever that nothing is about my destination and everything is about my journey itself. About every little step I take along the way.

Climbing steps to one of the temples Lempuyang Bali

We all know that saying -- quote: It's not the destination, it's the journey that is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but do we ever feel like living our lives through these words -- to the core? We kind of assume it’s true but then at the same time we plan our destination/destinations. Today, it somehow happened, without looking for proof, I have well received that message through my experience.

Not focusing on a destination but being in the journey, keeps us in the present moment continuously, here and now -- at all times. The moment we look towards our goal/destination (we can think big about that like life’s destination or small just about a next project) is the moment we leave our here and now and jump into the future. In fact, future doesn’t exist and moreover we know nothing about a destination besides a point on a map, a name of a goal, project, etc. Also, focusing just on the next step is about trusting, going with the flow and letting go of the control. If we keep our eyes on the prize (goal/destination) we want to and tend to be (with all the shoulds, musts, etc.) in charge and control of our journey. And life is not about the control at all. Anyway, can you control your life? Really?

In the first temple

I went to visit the Lempuyang Temple which actually is 7 temples all together. And Lempuyang (Temple Of Penataran Agung Lempuyang called Gate of Heaven) is the most famous one because of these Instagrammable mirror pictures. I wanted to visit all the temples, and if it was with the divine timing also to get these famous pictures. Yes, you need a divine timing as the wait for the pictures is between 2 and 3 hours.

So I got my picture number and went for a walk through the temples. Which was only about 2 km long but all the way up through 1700 steps. And it’s quite a walk given that you walk in about 30 degrees Celsius/86 Fahrenheit (fortunately partially in shadow). It was a very cleansing and purifying experience for me (that I can feel deeply even hours later). The last steps before reaching the final destination of the highest of the temples was kind of tough. And when I got there (reaching my destination), I realized that actually you walk all the way up to see that empty temple, which is almost like forgotten and barely visited (besides locals). You spend there like a few minutes and after a fulfilling journey to reach the destination you’re ready to go down. I realized how much it all was about walking all the way up over spending time in the temple itself. The views on the way and nature were so rewarding and of course all the inner insights that were flowing to me were absolutely precious. And the purification and connection with my body. I saw a bees nest, many butterflies, the jungle was talking to me, and my mind was quiet, just enjoying the present moment.

Before reaching the final temple-destination

As mentioned -- even for this short temple hike -- it was all about the journey -- to enjoy every single step, views, and many now moments. Without thinking about and focusing on the destination/goal. It’s like when you run a marathon or long runs — you don’t look ahead to a finish line, you just focus on taking the next step, you literally look down at your feet so you focus on taking the next step and don't look forward where the destination is. This is what I’ve done today. It was only about two hours but quite meaningful hours.

Whenever you go to reach your destination, don’t look ahead, don’t look for a finish line, don’t look back, don’t think about what it will be like when you will get there -- just enjoy your walk, your ride, your journey, your life, literally every step you take. Because when you reach your destination it will be gone with a finger snap and the biggest joy is along the way there.

Instagramable picture and my spectacular jump - Lempuyang Temple

PS. And I made it back on time for my pictures. Actually, I still had some wait time which was great as I was able to cool down after my 1700 steps inside-insight-journey.

Taking these pictures and observing the crowd waiting and preparing for pictures was an interesting experience as well. You have like 2 minutes and you can do 4-5 poses and that's it, after 2-3 hour wait.

I didn't take it this seriously as some of the people I watched (make up corrections, special outfits, preparation of the poses, etc.). So I just followed my inner guidance and the funniest thing was -- I'm never good at pictures when one asks you to jump (it always is a disaster in my case and in general I don't know how to jump for a picture) -- except this one you see here! One try -- one take -- and the end result? A picture I really like! Well done me!

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavatu -- May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy -- written on a sign in one of the temples on the top of my hike.

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