A Walk on the Path to Wisdom

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To know everything is to know nothing, but to know nothing is to know everything
- Confucius -


Wisdom.
It is a word that represents far beyond knowledge and is something which we all want; in fact very much.
Wisdom can come at birth, but really, wisdom just grows on us, naturally as we journey in life.

Wisdom can be a gift, where we have some who just seem to be wiser than the rest in the same age group.
That does not mean the rest are without wisdom, it is just that they have yet to acquire the same level of wisdom, or, they are just wise in other areas.

Wisdom, is made up of knowledge, experience, information, sapience, principles, sense, soundness, philosophies, sophistication, learning, judgment and many more all rolled into one.
It is the essence which shapes us into making decisions in our lives, and it is also the fundamental which keeps us going in our lives.

It is also one which we are constantly acquiring every moment, and pursue more on our journey, each day in life.

There is never a limit to wisdom.
Everyone wants to be wiser, or even, the wisest one.

Wisdom is more than anything else in the world; gold, silver, rubies, and sapphires combined, for it is a treasure which truly belongs and lasts.

We all take different paths in our lives; we walk in different directions.

There are no two persons who are the same; nor walk the same paths.
Not even identical twins.

We form our own wisdom, we grow in our own ways.
We learn things in our own style, we go through unique experiences which we call our own.
We are just wise, in our own ways.
There is no way to compare nor measure your wisdom versus mine.

There are times when we wonder, what is truly wisdom?
How do I know, how wise I am?
How much wiser have I gotten?
Am I even considered wise?
What kind of journey would make me wiser than before?

There is no definite answer, just like everything else in the universe.

It is something like a mystery, but at the same time, it could be just as simple and direct as the early alphabets we learn in life.

We take baby steps each and every day, we learn to feel and touch the ground before we stand up and take our first step in life.
We learn to crawl on fours, walk before we run and leap.

There is no defining rule to how we could possibly follow that process.
It is just natural the way wisdom works.

That is how it is, walking our way in life, and slowly gaining bit by bit, slices of life which make up our very own wisdom.

There are many ways to look at how life works, and what one understands may not be what another does either.

Some would probably define wisdom as knowing everything.
Some would say wisdom is all about nothingness in life.

Who is wrong, who is right.
Nobody knows.
It is all about perspectives.

If you have heard of the Mahayana Sutra; the 260 verses known in Buddhism which dwells on wisdom, you will know that there are many doctrines which encapsulates the soul of wisdom as such.

The Mahayana Sutra, as mentioned is composed of 260 verses, and is better known as the Heart Sutra; which is apt to describe the doctrine derived to capture the heart of the Perfection of Wisdom of Buddha.

Perhaps the Buddhists would know, but it is not all about Buddhism, for as its name suggests, it is about wisdom.

It is interesting to know that this sutra is engraved on tall timber structures; specially erected for display in a location for everyone to view.

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A total of 38 timber columns stand silently in a tranquil spot, surrounded by lush green mountains and the breezy wind, with the inscriptions of the sutra on each one of them, carved into the timber in a two-dimensional fashion.

Towering tall, one would feel minute standing in the midst of these columns, surrounded by the blank and silent stares returned by the columns.

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Right in the heart of Lantau Island, in Hong Kong, that is.

Located off the tracks a little farther than the famous Tian Tan Buddha and the nearby Po Lin monastery, this is slightly hidden from public eyes and is off the beaten path.

It is one of my favorite places and perhaps, one of the most unique places I like.

It must have been my third time here, taking that short walk after visiting the gigantic Buddha statue and the monastery, to just come to this very spot.
It looks exactly the same every time, and I feel at peace every single time I am here too, but yet, it is not entirely the same feeling either.

Nothing changed from the spot.

Everything looked the same; well, except with a little more crowd compared to my very first time which was, a decade ago?

There is just something about this place, which is just so tranquil and peaceful that it just puts me at ease.
Perhaps it is knowing about the wisdom verses inscriptions, which gives that feeling?
I don't know.

I am not a Buddhist, I don't know the sutra very well nor did I memorize all the verses.

However, every single time, out of the 38 columns, the one that stood out and still charms me is that one single column.

The one that is totally blank.
Without an inscription.

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Yes, of all the columns which had verses on them, I am captivated by the one which had none.
The one that is empty.

Yet, that is the main highlight of this spot, and of the sutra in general, for it is also known as the essence of the sutra; the doctrine of "Emptiness".

The concept of Emptiness is about the relationship or the independence/interdependence of the physical and mental states/worlds.
There is a correlation between the mental and the physical worlds; where one's physical actions reflect that of the mental mind and the mind is an encapsulation of things happening in the actual and tangible physical world.

There is no guideline nor borders or boundaries between the mental and physical world.
They are interdependent yet at the same time independent of each other.
At the same time, the key is the evolution and the constant change which takes place all the time.
There is no such thing as constants in the world.
In fact, the only thing that is constant in the world, is Change.

Understanding that ever changing world will help to understand that whole thing about Emptiness.
It helps to devoid of unnecessary attachments and dependence on things which would never stay there forever.
To be able to understand to that depth, will help one to form fresh thoughts; logically and guide their actions in life.

It is an interesting concept, and in short, wisdom which shapes us well, if we were to understand the heart of it.

It is one that I find fascinating.

While everyone thinks to pursue and to hold onto everything which makes their life wholesome, it is actually the other way round.

It may not be elementary to comprehend, but it takes time to truly grasp the concept and when you do, you will find a deep sense of calm and fulfillment in yourself.
That is when, the world may start to appear a little different in that light.

That, is truly a part of wisdom.

When I am standing amidst these columns, I just pause everything that is on my mind, or I just take no notice of anything else around me.
It helps that the environment is just conducive to begin with.

I 'emptied' myself of my thoughts, the sounds and everything else in the world.
I wanted to feel that Emptiness.
I wanted to feel Empty, in that sense.

Every single time, it feels different.
Perhaps it is age and the experiences I have gone through, but I find that is the most unique part of all.

It is a place I will never be bored of, and I am not promoting this place, nor am I focusing on the teachings of Buddhism.

It is about enlightenment, and that is part of life; the part when we try to understand and then sense comes in.
Everything would start to fall into place and make sense, which makes you go "Aahhh".

It is that feeling; that satisfaction that I seek.
I don't know about you, but those Ahh moments are what truly makes our life meaningful and interesting.

Wisdom?
It's enlightenment and Ahh moments that add more to it.

I am looking forward to my next visit here, and to share that new angle of perspective I may find then.
(Read about my earlier visit: Wisdom: The Heart of the Heart Sutra)


A new light of wisdom in the form of Emptiness; where nothing could mean everything.

Everything, is just nothing.

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Note:
The Wisdom Path is a short trail from the Tian Tan Buddha; a 10-15 minutes walk on foot.
It is an on-the-way path and is also one of the entrance to the Lantau hiking trail.
The 38 timber columns are erected slightly on the elevated ground facing mountains; with the Mahayana Sutra verses engraved on the 37 columns.
The form of the columns resemble the ancient tiles; in the form of bamboo tiles used for writing back in the olden days.
The two-dimensional columns are placed in an unique pattern which forms the number 8; a symbol of infinity.

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Location:
10-15 minutes walk from Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island.


How to Get There:
Bus 23 from Tung Chung MTR to the Tian Tan Buddha in Ngong Ping
OR take the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car for a bird's eye view of Lantau Island towards the Tian Tan Buddha.

From the Tian Tan Buddha, take a short walk of 10-15 minutes towards the Lantau Hiking Trail.
There will be signs to guide you all the way.





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*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.




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