Last Updated on March 29, 2021
I focus a lot on being present. Whether with family or friends or even just when alone.
I focus on being present because I don’t want life to pass me by. I find myself saying “this is it” to remind myself that this is it!
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.
When we understand that “This is it,” it allows us to let go of the past and the future and wake up to what we are now, in this moment.Wherever you go, there you are
Concentrate every minute… on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can— if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered , irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you.Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Once you are in the present, you might have judgements come up about whether this moment is good or bad.
I like this from The Theory of Moral Sentiments: (Yes, Adam Smith wrote more than just The Wealth of Nations)
The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation.Adam Smith
Or even more classic and simply, from Shakespeare:
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.William Shakespeare
Tao Te Ching
I love the Tao Te Ching. It’s amazing to think that it was written so long ago, maybe 400BC.
Knowing others is intelligence;Tao Te Ching
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plats are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.
Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.
The hard and stiff will be broken.Tao Te Ching
The soft and supple will prevail.
Receive without conceit; release without struggle.Marcus Aurelius
I think this sums it up best, (and is quite hilarious):
“Well,” you say, “there have to be some experts who have the answers.”
When upset, you go to a doctor or psychiatrist, an analyst, a social worker, or an astrologer. You take up religion, get philosophy, take the Erhard Seminars Training (est), tap yourself with EFT. You get your chakras balanced, try some reflexology, go for ear acupuncture, do iridology, get healed with lights and crystals.
You meditate, chant a mantra, drink green tea, try the Pentecostals, breathe in fire, and speak in tongues. You get centered, learn NLP, try actualizations, work on visualizations, study psychology, join a Jungian group. You get Rolfed, try psychedelics, get a psychic reading, jog, jazzercise, have colonics, get into nutrition and aerobics, hang upside down, wear psychic jewelry. Get more insight, bio-feedback, Gestalt therapy.
You see your homeopath, chiropractor, naturopath. You try kinesiology, discover your Enneagram type, get your meridians balanced, join a consciousness-raising group, take tranquilizers. You get some hormone shots, try cell salts, have your minerals balanced, pray, implore, and beseech. You learn astral projection. Become a vegetarian. Eat only cabbage. Try macrobiotics, go organic, eat no GMO. Meet up with Native American medicine men, do a sweat lodge. Try Chinese herbs, moxicombustion, shiatsu, acupressure, feng shui. You go to India. Find a new guru. Take off your clothes. Swim in the Ganges. Stare at the sun. Shave your head. Eat with your fingers, get really messy, shower in cold water.
Sing tribal chants. Relive past lives. Try hypnotic regression. Scream a primal scream. Punch pillows. Get Feldenkraised. Join a marriage encounter group. Go to Unity. Write affirmations. Make a vision board. Get re-birthed.
Cast the I Ching. Do the Tarot cards. Study Zen. Take more courses and workshops. Read lots of books. Do transactional analysis. Get yoga lessons. Get into the occult. Study magic. Work with a kahuna. Take a shamanic journey. Sit under a pyramid. Read Nostradamus. Prepare for the worst. Go on a retreat. Try fasting. Take amino acids. Get a negative ion generator.
Join a mystery school. Learn a secret handshake. Try toning. Try color therapy. Try subliminal tapes. Take brain enzymes, antidepressants, flower remedies. Go to health spas. Cook with exotic ingredients. Look into strange fermented oddities from faraway places. Go to Tibet. Hunt up holy men. Hold hands in a circle and get high. Renounce sex and going to the movies. Wear some yellow robes. Join a cult.
Try the endless varieties of psychotherapy. Take wonder drugs. Subscribe to lots of journals. Try the Pritikin diet. Eat just grapefruit. Get your palm read.
Think New Age thought. Improve the ecology. Save the planet. Get an aura reading. Carry a crystal. Get a Hindu sidereal astrological interpretation. Visit a transmedium. Go for sex therapy. Try Tantric sex. Get blessed by Baba. Somebody. Join an anonymous group. Travel to Lourdes. Soak in the hot springs. Join Arica. Wear therapeutic sandals. Get grounded. Get more prana and breathe out that stale black negativity. Try golden needle acupuncture. Check out snake gallbladders. Try chakra breathing. Get your aura cleaned. Meditate in Cheops, the great pyramid in Egypt.
You and your friends have tried all of the above, you say? Oh, the human! You wonderful creature! Tragic, comic and yet so noble! Such courage to keep on searching! What drives us to keep looking for an answer? Suffering? Oh, yes.
Hope? Certainly. But there is something more than that.
Intuitively, we know that somewhere there is an ultimate answer. We stumble down dark byways into cul-de-sacs and blind alleys; we get exploited and taken, disillusioned, fed up, and we keep on trying.
Where is our blind spot? Why can’t we find the answer?
We don’t understand the problem; that’s why we can’t find the answer.
Maybe it’s ultra simple, and that’s why we can’t see it.
Maybe the solution is not “out there,” and that’s why we can’t find it.
Maybe we have so many belief systems that we are blinded to the obvious.
Spoiler, the answer is letting go!