Thursday, February 12, 2009

Simplicity.


I think, mostly, we all kind of wander through our lives slightly tuned out to a LOT of what is going on. There are, perhaps, a myriad of reasons for doing so....we are afraid, we are comfortable, we don't know any other way to live. It's hard to be present. It's hard to live in the now. As Marshall McLuhan suggests, "We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future." Living in the now requires peace with one's past, hope for the future (without any attachment to possible outcomes) and a focus on the here and now. I don't know that I have ever been completely present in my life. I have mostly been distracted by anticipation over what is to come or angst over what has passed. Until now. Something shifted in my life several months ago. And, for--maybe the first time in my life--I am truly present. It's the best I have ever felt about my life.

The Buddhists say that all suffering comes from attachment. Attachment to physical things, and attachment to feelings and outcomes. Attachment to a future possibility or a past regret. Never before have I understood the simplicity of this concept. That said, the more I understand it, the more I understand that simplicity is anything but easy. Simplicity requires mental and emotional discipline. I'm not certain I have completely gotten the hang of this practice of discipline, but I'm well on my way...and I am relatively certain that it may be the key to sustained happiness in life.

4 comments:

minus five said...

"Living in the now requires peace with one's past, hope for the future (without any attachment to possible outcomes) and a focus on the here and now. I don't know that I have ever been completely present in my life."

sarah coffman is 0 for 3.

the buddhists may be on to something. i think i've felt that kind of peace before, but it was a long time ago and it only seemed to come in five second blips.

i'll be getting my brain scanned in the next couple of weeks so maybe they'll find something that i can blame it on.

flfarmgirl said...

I loved this post. You are right on about living in the moment. So many people are focused too far into the future or have not made it through their past, letting their lives slip through their grasp. Life is good---so is your blog! Very thought provking. Glad you are here.

SAT said...

Read "Awakening The Buddha Within".....then go out to dinner and discuss with great friends over good wine; or if you prefer great wine and good friends.

Go Dharma!

michelle said...

Wow this is the most amazing post I have read in a long time. I read a lot of blog posts but only very rarely do I connect with a blog post.

When you wrote, "I don't know that I have ever been completely present in my life. I have mostly been distracted by anticipation over what is to come or angst over what has passed. it was as if you knew exactly how to articulate what I have been struggling with lately.

Can you share what led you to your transition?