Supposed to Make It Count
I had sort of figured this out by age 9.
I felt caught in the trap of the game with no idea what I should do. I just trailed along uncomfortably through my teens and early 20s. Then I left for Japan at 25 and my life blossomed. “Oh-ho! So that was what I was supposed to be doing!?”
Here is a message from Alan Watts – early interpreter of Buddhism in the West – as suggested to me by my friend Tom Callos:
In our SKH Quest Center for Martial Arts, we have students practice a talking meditation in the 3rd week of every October addressing, “I really know I’m alive when I…” and fill in the blank as many times as possible in one minute.
For most, the exercise is way harder than it sounds.
Thank you for this timely posting. This is the hardest part of the journey; trying to remember it’s about the journey and not the destination. I am currently in a personal dilemma where I am dealing with this very issue. You have a great tendency to post the right material at the right time. You are a great inspiration.
This is a great one, and I’m a big fan of Alan Watts. As parents, my wife and I are really trying to walk that razor’s edge between ‘preparing’ our kids for the future (learning to read, be polite, eat well and so on) and enjoy the present. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, as communicating well, feeling healthy and such are pleasures on their own, even as they can enhanced and facilitate more complex pleasures and pursuits down the road.
But there’s a lot to be said for simply relaxing and ‘acting naturally’ in the moment, and watching my kids do just that is one of the greatest pleasures in my life today.
There’s also the thing of using and enjoying what we have learned already, and not just agonizing over what we don’t know and how to learn it. Stretch a little bit all the time and before we know it we look back and see we’ve stretched quite a bit!