Saturday, May 31, 2008
I am never really here in the present moment. I am always somewhere else. In all my free time I’m almost always lost in a book. I can’t eat alone without reading something. I can’t even take a shit without reading. If I’m not reading I’m probably lost in computer land or some fantasy or the other, far, far away, high up in the stratosphere somewhere.
I have read Eckhart Tolle thoroughly, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and a number of books on mindfulness and Buddhism. I doubt that many people, who are not scholars, have read as many books on psychology, meditation and philosophy as I have. (I have of course read tons of other books as well.) I am like that cook who has read all the cookbooks in the world, but never cooks anything. If he is hungry he has a hamburger or a pizza.
Well, I’ve been listening to a lot of different mindfulness training programs on CDs, I have taken meditation classes and I have been to weekend retreats, but still, I am never really present here and now.
During my morning walks through the park, on my way to work, I always try to practice being “here and now”. I intentionally try to be here where I am, to be aware of my walk, in the now. But it is only for very short moments, maybe for a few seconds or so, that I manage to stay aware. Of course I know very well that this is how the mind works, but still, after years of practice?
There is nothing wrong with sitting meditation or Buddhism, but it is not for all people. I think it is for people of a special kind, with a special kind of personality. Some people like meditation, others don’t. Some people like running and physical exercise, others don’t. Some people simply love to hang around and do nothing, others freak out if they don’t have something to do.
This is what I have arrived at: There are many paths leading out from the forest. Everybody has to find their own way. But it is important to know though, that there are things that are common to us all. You can’t be a complete asshole and expect happiness as a result. You can’t lie too much to yourself and expect to find out something about the truth. You can’t bee to egoistic if you expect any progress on any spiritual path.