Observing My Life
“The path of mindfulness is the path of no preferences…We should not expect high degrees of tranquility if we are living in an environment where people are confused or not tranquil, or where we have a lot of responsibilities and duties. We should not think: ‘Oh! I want to be somewhere else; I don’t want to be here.’ Then we are making a preference. We should observe the kind of life that we have, whether we like it or not-it is changing, anyway; it does not matter.” Let Go of Fire, by Ajahn Sumedho, Posted on 14 April 2010 by Buddhism Now
This speaks to me. I want that tranquility, but my life is full of responsibilities. I frequently find myself thinking, “I wish I were elsewhere.” Feeling stuck in Michigan is unpleasant at best.
“[W]hether we like it or not—it is changing anyway.” That’s where my reality rests. I live in a quickly changing world. I don’t know what I want, but being stuck is more illusion than reality; it is just a feeling. The world is not stuck. My path of movement may not be the one preferred by me, but movement is not only possible, but inevitable.
My mind feels very empty right now. I was starting to wonder if something was wrong with me. Today, I felt what was going on. I am not investing emotional energy into anything right now. This is freedom. I surf the internet and let it be. I am not fighting someone else’s battles.
I have been carefully, deliberately getting rid of things and doing some minor “spring cleaning” of my house and mind. I have been creating a vacuum. So far, nothing has rushed in to fill it. What I like about minimalism is the deliberateness of everything. Keep whatever you see as truly adding value to your life. Let go of the rest. Don’t go chasing after someone else’s goals. It looks different for everyone. For example, we have a TV. Barry can’t do much besides watch TV at this point. It gives a lot of value to his life because his mind is slipping away and his body is losing coordination. Will I keep it after he’s gone? I don’t know, but I don’t need to make that choice now.
I can enjoy the pleasures available to me now while fulfilling my current responsibilities. The only thing I am sure of at this point is the ever-changing-ness of reality. However wonderful or terrible something may seem now, just wait. It won’t last. The next situation will have an entirely different set of responsibilities and pleasures.