In the midst of all that is going on in the world, I zigzag a path between wanting to stay fully informed and yet wanting to step back to a more peaceful time and place. It’s as though the news of the day — whatever it is today — overwhelms the senses. People are unemployed, the economy is tanking, China might acquire the U.S., we’re living in a climate of fear, Trump’s hair moved, governments are falling, Obama greases Osama, Peak Oil has come and gone although we have no shortage if we just scrape it off our shores… The list is endless.
I think it’s a natural, human inclination to retreat from this type of onslaught. The problem is that although we would seek a serene center in our lives, we have a strong desire to know what will happen in the future and yet we pattern our time based on premises from the past. There’s a tendency to either gather information so that we (think we) know what will happen, or to run back to what is known and comfortable, even if it wasn’t perfect.
Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed by ‘current events’, I like to go back through my library of images to find something more calm and serene. (See image above.) One can feel righteous about it when seeking a balance in life. In doing so today, though, it struck me: Even that retreat is an avoidance of what is happening right now.
“There is never nothing going on. There are no ordinary moments.” — Dan Millman
Every moment of experience is all that we really are. Sometimes the experience is placid, at other times chaotic. Either way, it’s our experience, and surely that should not be avoided. While we might cringe at the thought of some possible future event, or reminisce fondly about the perfect campsite on a remote lake, doing so pulls us away from whatever is happening now, and it is only our resistance to what is happening that causes discomfort.
Millman also said, “The world’s a puzzle; no need to make sense of it.”
The key is to stay awake to what is happening, to watch, and to experience it fully. Any resistance to that awareness — any drifting to the future or to the past — creates suffering.
Today, I needed a reminder of that, so I wrote this. Thank you for reading it.