Day 52 – Musings on the Dhammapada Part 4
Chapter 13 – The World
I’ve traveled the world from an early age – so much so that I’m kind of done with traveling while at the same time unable to stop.
I’ve been to so many places, seen so many things, experienced so many cultures, lived so many different lives.
I’ve witnessed all the world has to offer and more.
I’ve seen more of the world than most people will in their lifetimes, even in this day and age of quick and easy travel.
The question I’m asking myself today is – have I really seen the world?
Traveling around and discovering the world often creates a ‘been there, done that’/ ‘what’s next on my list?’ mentality of one who is always striving for the next destination that will forever change their life.
I’m guilty of having lived this way for many years. When I could have been firmly rooted in the now I can only chalk up my experiences to what I’ve done in the past and will do in the future.
I’m trying to amend this by staying focused on the present (not easy when I’m already preparing for my next move – which I can’t wait for btw ;D).
Today was a perfect example of how I ignore the world because I was (and still am) lost in my thoughts of past and future.
- I found myself unable to accomplish much last night because I was waiting to take my mom to the airport for her flight back ‘home‘. I was waiting for the moment I drove away from the airport to actually focus on the things I wanted to do that day instead of seizing the now and accomplishing what I could in the present moment.
- I woke up this morning already planning and picturing myself in the classroom in an attempt to figure out how to lay out today’s lesson on articles.
- As I was eating my breakfast I was already picturing myself in my car driving down the highway wondering if the traffic would cause me to be late for work.
- During my first lesson, I was imagining my mom at ‘home‘ relaxing, meeting up with family we haven’t seen for a while and eating all the wonderful Scottish food you shouldn’t eat if you don’t want a coronary.
I have been catching myself midway through these thought processes throughout the weekend, and have been thinking about how interesting it is that I was letting each moment of peace and happiness slip by because I was choosing to focus on thoughts of the past and the future.
This morning I tried to feel my cup of warm water, with a squeeze of lemon, in my hands and savor the flavor as if I had never tasted it before. I told myself ‘this to’ when thoughts of past and future arose throughout the weekend. I took deep breaths and brought my mind back to the feelings in my body at that moment as I sat eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also tried to remember that the hallway is my walking meditation, which I continue to forget about as I rush around the house lost in thought.
While all of these techniques brought me back to the moment I still felt frustrated that I was letting so much of momentary happiness and peace pass me by because my mind and ego were determined to do what they wanted. The cause was no doubt because I didn’t meditate this weekend (for some reason my practice slides when I have all the time in the world to practice!). I’m sure that caused the increase in attachment to my thoughts.
I really shouldn’t feel frustrated about any of what occurred in my mind these last few days. If nothing else it was life teaching me that I need my practice and that I need to get back on my cushion. This in itself is extremely important, for if I don’t recognize the happiness and peace I do feel when I practice everyday, then what reason would I have to get back on the cushion?
I think from now on it’s important that I head out to explore the world in the moment. With each breath that I take a new world is born, another dies and yet another is still to be imagined and experienced. I may have explored much of the world outside of myself, but the world inside of me is unchartered territory waiting and hoping to be discovered.
My next question is – will I return?!
Chapter 14 – The Buddha
Chapter 15 – Happiness
Chapter 16 – The Dear