Perhaps “I think therefore I am” may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Is it not our incessant thinking that is the root cause of all our suffering? How many times will we notice a positive thing, linger for a brief moment, and then go right back into negativity? “Oh what a lovely flower” quickly turns into thoughts about “what he did to me, what I’m going to do to him, and how they are wrong”. All this ‘thinking’ keeps us stuck. Why would we choose this constant state of living in the past or future, when the present is the only space that really exists? Why does our mind dwell on past hurts and petty schemes ‘to show them’ when there is no peace and we only suffer.
Perhaps there is a better way? Perhaps there is a space, we can create, that gives us peace. That moment when we drive our car and have no idea how we got somewhere. The first bite of a savory meal, when there is no thought; only experience. When we experience the moment, give ourselves over to it, we “experience” the essence of who we really are.
The moment we ask “who am I” we are already thinking again and missing the experience of just being. What is being? How do we achieve this state? Is it possible to be in a state of being around a bunch of “doers”. Many think so. They have practiced the art of mindfulness, which keeps them in an ever present state of joy, regardless of outside influences. We can only achieve this state if we are willing to pay close attention to the internal “thinking” that pulls us off track. What she did, what he said, and what we are going to do, are all distractions from joy.
Why would we allow another person’s madness to infect our state? We do this all the time. They cut us off in traffic and we are mad; see how insanity is spread. We expect their appreciation, if they do not give it clearly they are unconscious, but then we choose to go unconscious with them by being angry at them. Are we not really angry at their madness? How does their insane state get transferred to us? We allow it. Why would we then choose to be insane with them?
We expect our legal problems to go away and the thought of this makes us happy. Then more legal problems follow and back to madness we return. This changed state has everything to do with our thoughts. We judge this as good, we feel good, and this as bad, so we must be compelled to feel bad.
These events just are. They only have the power we choose to give them. Surely we do not have to let our day be spoiled because they served us cold soup, the cable did not work, the children did not listen, and it rained during our bike ride. Do we want our moods to be contingent upon all these external forces? Can we not see how insane this is, to give away so much power as to suffer over a cable box?
What if we just decided that no matter what, we would keep our thoughts (the only thing we actually do have control over) focused on the blessings in our life? We had food, shelter, water and a safe place to live. “That’s bullsh@t, I’ve worked hard for these things” the ego screams out in defense. Is that really true? Or are we simply lucky because of where we live. There are many hard workers in the world today that are going hungry. We do not experience the joy of food and water because we have not had to imagine a life without it. So we take it for granted and move up the ladder to our egos next demands.
We have a choice to spread joy. To give comfort. To practice love and tolerance. We can not understand the rewards of this way of living if we have not experienced this way of living. We must first do these acts, experience their benefits and then we will gain understanding. Too often, we sit, we think , we hope for understanding and it does not come. Get up and do; that leads to understanding.
Make a decision to bring your mind back to the present. Forgive the person who cuts you off and decide their insanity will not be your reality today. Let go of a petty argument and decide to covet your joy rather than cast it away for the sake of being right. Hug your children and thank them for showing you the true meaning of life; to live joyfully which they so naturally do until we come and infect them with our brand of ‘insanity’.
Instead of downloading onto them, allow them to upload onto you. They are there joyful and smiling ready to love you unconditionally and all you have to do is show up and be present. Bring your mind to the present and enjoy the gifts waiting for you to experience. See how you have no problems in this moment. All you really have is now. The past is gone, it can not be changed. The future has not arrived and you have no control over what it will bring. You only have your thoughts and this moment and how you choose to live it!