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Learning From Buddhism: Our Life Is Like a Voyage


A wise monk once said that our life is like a voyage. From the moment we begin to develop in the womb we are gradually being prepared to start our own voyage. Although as babies we don’t have the mind to imagine this, we are about to be faced with the greatest voyage ever which is life. From the moment we are born, we are moving along with the flow of life, similar to a ship moving in the sea.


Our voyage, may also be comparable to a roller coaster ride. It has its fair share of ups and downs, hot and cold. Sometimes, it’s comfortable, with a pleasant breeze, but it won’t last forever. Sometimes, it may be uncomfortably hot, or even worse, we may find ourselves in the midst of a storm.


There will be times you feel unstoppable like you can conquer the world but there will also be extreme lows where you are struggling to see the light. Whenever we face problems beyond our control, some might feel hopeless to the point of wanting to end their lives in order to escape their status quo and unload the heavy burden.


In order to stop thinking like this, I would like to introduce a theory, or a guiding principle for these moments. “Every cloud has a silver lining.”


The first difficulty for humans maybe when they’ve got a lot of things on their plate and their lives start to turn sour without having any idea or means to rebuild and/or recover from it. Similarly for ships, when the ship sails through a stormy sea, it may incur partial damages. If it is not repaired promptly, the damage might get worse and lead to the ship sinking to the bottom of the sea. While the ship is sinking, or in other words our lives are falling apart, some people may choose to give up, a decision that is so final it can never be overturned.


The second difficulty is when we suddenly are directionless, wandering aimlessly. In comparison also to the ship’s voyage, there might come a time when you get the realization that you’re in the middle of the sea, and wherever you look, in all 360-degree view, there is nothing but water. In life, we also reach a point in our lives when we feel like we don’t know where we are, and we can’t foresee where we are headed to. No traces of hope to reaching a better state.


In such cases, some people can lose the will to live, thinking that they’re stuck in that lonely and aimless journey for their entire life. But in reality, you just have to find your compass to guide you to your destination. It’s there, and you have to trust the process.


Remember there are always ways to repair a ship and there will always be a way to change your life. Nothing lasts forever and in these extreme lows you must find strength to continue.


So, if you have lost your passion for life or your existence feels pointless remember these analogies, they may help you to search for the silver lining. You may then seek help from support groups such as family, friends and professionals in order for you to get by and learn to handle the challenges that at some point another we are bound to face.


The bottom line is, first, we have to know the root of the problem in order to attack it. Is your ship broken, does it need repairs?. Or are you lost in your voyage?


There is always a corresponding solution on how to get over the problem and continue your journey with hope.


Like a ship in the sea your aim is to reach your destination but you must also enjoy the view and trust the process of your journey.


Without overcoming the difficulties in life you cannot appreciate the good.