Why Our Lives Are Not a Journey

This video is a gift. The imagery may be a little over the top but the words and adorable British accent and candid tone of Zen teacher Alan Watts are well worth 4 and a half minutes of your day.

Our cultural conditioning has us in a rat race. Achieve, achieve, achieve! Win! Don’t be a loser! “Man up!”

The good news is that we can choose to step off the giant hamster wheel at any time.

We can choose to slow down, to quit overscheduling ourselves and our children, to quit working for the weekend. We can choose to sit and drink a cup of tea and do nothing else. We can choose to silence our devices and let our minds’ endless chatter settle down for a change.

We can choose to leave a soul-sucking school, relationship or job in favor of pursuing our passions.

It’s neither easy nor automatic, but making the choice, taking the vow, to move toward a slower-paced, more meaningful, heartful and mindful life can start to affect us today, right now in the most amazing of ways.

Your life is not a journey, and it is a journey. The path is the goal. There is no there there. It’s right here and now, and nowhere else and at no other time than this.

So quit scrolling, quit searching, quit seeking, quit criticizing, quit worrying.

Simply sit, stand, walk, listen, look… and soon you’ll see.

-ing

dreaming waking

sitting standing walking

breathing  living  existing

listening   looking   intending   imagining

hearing   seeing   creating

believing releasing

(repeating)

cooking eating cleaning dirtying

hugging  kissing

writing reading

playing working

speaking talking stretching dancing

wondering    thanking    appreciating

taking   giving

laughing  crying

it’s good just being here.

atitlan

What is “practice”? What is not practice?

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1. Nothing is not practice.

2. We have our formal practice of hatha yoga, or mindfulness, or whatever, and we have our “informal” practice of life. We have meditation and “postmeditation.”

3. Formal practice is important. Essential. Sit down and shut up. Learn to concentrate the mind. Delve into the practical techniques of meditation. Gain insight, humility, compassion and so much more.

4. Just as essential is “informal” practice: how we carry ourselves in the world. How we speak, eat, act, drink, look, see.

5. The best is when boundaries are blurred, when formal and informal collapse into one. When work is play and play is work. Passion plus compassion.

6. Enlightenment is not an epiphany. It’s simply being absorbed in the moment and in the paradox of life: that all is one and the same yet each is separate and unique.

7. Keep doing your yoga schmoga, whatever it may look like. Keep being you, whoever you are. And realize that ultimately, we’re all made of the same stuff and headed toward the same end.

8. Practice or don’t practice. Everything is practice!

Read the full version here.

Why Write?

“Don’t be a writer, be writing.” ~ William Faulkner

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Why am I writing? Because the blank page is daunting until the moment I sit down and write. I face fear, truth and reality and let the letters and words flow through my fingers.

Writing is one continuous, tangential discourse with myself.

And also with you.

Writing lifts up my heart.

I’m writing what I enjoy and enjoying what I write. I’m writing to harvest delicious sentences and cultivate bountiful paragraphs.

Because I adore words.

I delight in the act of creating essays.

I love language and crave communication.

I’m writing because in the act of quality writing, I have no choice but to be present.

Hence, I’m writing as a mindfulness practice—a daily life practice—I’m writing to express myself.

To connect.

To unite with you, for just this one moment as you read these words.

I’m writing to benefit myself and all beings, or as many as I can possibly affect with my string-of-pearls-of words.

(Keep reading)