JUST.

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Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Just.

It’s a word that I was told when I asked my friend, on what should I write on. “Just”, was her response.

Just.

To just write.

It’s profound. Like all of life’s profound truths. It’s simplicity, it’s succinctness, it’s tiny size, belies what lies within it.

Just.

Why don’t we just write?

Why don’t we just talk?

Why don’t we just do things on the spur of moment?

Why don’t we Just be?

No. But we want each activity to serve a purpose. We want each conversation to lead to something permanent. We want to do things which are meaningful. We want to live lives that are meaningful, in some grand, cosmically relevant way.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

What could possibly be better than that?

Except perhaps, Just this – It doesn’t work.

I tried it. I tried it with everything I had. I have friends who’re trying it. Successful high flying friends. Doesn’t seem to be working for anyone.

I’m not saying that they’re all lost, or miserable. But barely any seem deeply happy. Barely any see capable of living in deep awe of the miracle that is life….every single moment of their life. Most put all the value, all the meaning in some combination of circumstances/events that makes sense to them, and go about spending all of their living moments in making sure that these moments can be brought to existence. But to throw away millions of equally precious moments in order to appreciate a handful? What sort of intelligence is that?

All that effort, all that time, all that energy that gets spent trying to bring their ‘dreams’ alive, wouldn’t a better use of that energy be in trying to learn how to be alive now. Wherever you are. Whatever is happening around you. To just be. Fully there, breathing deeply these ephemeral moments which are always fleeting by. To catch a true glimpse of That, which is one of the subtlest, most toughest things to do. Instead we feel like after we reach our dream situation/goal, that’s when we’ll start living these moments. But in the victory of success our defeat is already destined. In reaching the goal while putting off living, we’ve already trained the mind to be always looking forward and not at now. When that moment does arrive, we’re incapable of looking at the Now and enjoy the Now, and breathe the Now, and live it. We arrive exactly where we are Now. After a long long journey, we reach nowhere.

So why not instead just start it Now?

Why not instead just live it Now?

Why not just learn to be…..Now.

Just be.

Just live.

Just breathe.

Just do what life demands to be done.

Just be happy, irrespective. Because the greatest achievement of our lives can’t even match the miracle of just being alive.

Just.

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Attempts at living the “Perfect” Life

Looking for the perfect place to rest in
Photo by Hal Ozart on Unsplash

There’s a loop that I often relive.

On its surface it comes out of a desire to excel. To shine. To live life at this imagined level of intensity and accomplishment that would make my life feel meaningful, feel successful.

But this loop has barely delivered on it’s elusive promises.

Instead, it has become an excuse to keep putting off living fully for this ‘perfect day’. Instead of fully engaging with the ups and downs that each day inevitably brings, it’s become an escapist imagination where the mind retreats into every time the ongoing day goes out of it’s idea of perfection. What simply happens is that whenever the day doesn’t go as I would have wanted it to go, I retract my energies, my involvement, imagine instead how I would deal with this setback in the most perfect way possible….tomorrow. And today gets written off mentally. Unacceptable in my insatiable desire to knock off perfect responses to life and it’s challenges, day after day.

Why do we do this?

Why do I do this?

I feel it’s because it’s far easier to emotionally withdraw from a game that isn’t going your way, and to play it again when you’re feeling better(always tomorrow), than to take whatever mood and energy one is in, and accept doing whatever needs to be done, at 50% capacity. Because 50% effectiveness feels like a loss. A defeat. Only 100% is what the ego craves as a victory.

Whatever be the excuse, the end result is perpetual procrastination and training the mind to give up, instead of digging in.

So what’s the solution?

To give up this conceptualisation of some imaginary perfection. To take all of the mental energy getting dissipated in comparing each passing moment against some conceptualised excellence, and divert all that energy into the Now. To take away the escape hatch that the mind runs into at the slightest sign of discomfort or the situation not playing out as the way it wants it to. To disconnect from joy of imaginary ‘perfect’ situations, ‘perfect’ behaviour, ‘perfect’ day….into the here and now. To take the focus from an ‘excellent’ outcome that gets me some stars from the audience, to the ‘excellence’ of input…putting my 100% into everything that I’m doing. Into every moment. The moment that is right here. Always is. Not the one in the future. But doing the best Now. In this very instant. The next moment will then take care of itself as I will reach it with a mind more focused on delivery 100%. Maybe I’ll only be able to actually deliver 10% right now. But by focusing on it, it could go to at least 11%. And then by regular practice, it can only improve, not degrade.

So the question is then not of how to deliver ‘perfect’ days, the perfection of which can be marred by the mistake of one unaware moment….but, how to deliver this moment 100%. If I missed, then here’s another one. And another. And another. No more waiting. No more procrastination. But living in the present moment. Not to enjoy some imaginary perfection…but to enjoy 100% living. Now. Here. What else is there?

Deep Dive

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Photo by Chris Osmond on Unsplash

Experienced something Divine today – myself.

Even to try and put this experience into words, feels like trying to squeeze the majestic heights of the Himalayas into Twitter hashtags.

And yet this impossible venture is worth doing. How else will we inspire anyone to make the arduous journey up the treacherous paths to see those snowy peaks silently offering their wispy prayers?

I used to often wonder why so much emphasis on the question, “Who are you?” Are all the possible answers to this question not very obvious in themselves? From every assumed identity, going till our very consciousness itself?

What I realised today is that the value of the question lies not in the words it inspires. What are words? Merely symbols with a specific meaning. And unless you know the meaning, the symbol is meaningless. So unless I know the meaning of the answer that is going to arise in me on asking “Who am I”, what’s the point of asking it?

What I didn’t understand is that sometimes the process is the answer. Who I am, is who I am. There is nothing to answer in it. And yet, everything to discover.

“What is Kanchenjunga?” Knowing the answer to that in words is nothing. Seeing it standing majestically in front of your very eyes….now that will tell you something. But to reach there is a journey. And the journey itself is part of the answer. Kanchenjunga would not be Kanchenjunga if it was standing in front of Churchgate Station.

What we are. Who we are. Is an already existing truth.

Asking the question, is merely to attempt travelling through the mist surrounding the truth. To direct our energy towards piercing the mist. Towards searching. Towards looking. And the looking is the point. For your own inner mountain lies waiting. Waiting to be discovered in its overflowing grandeur.

Go find