Saturday, October 1, 2011

We Are Here Now

And then he started using words like nyingma and shentong and I became more interested in my beer than anything else. Zen is a neato thing to talk about but depending on who’s doing the talking, it can get a bit too stiff for me.

But I perked up when he said the most rewarding thing he’s ever done in all his years is to sit and contemplate his own death.

I was in an expat bar in Chiang Mai on trivia night and an informal lecture had broken out. Half the room was shouting out answers to sports history questions, and the other half was gathered around a once-American philosophy professor, listening to him talk about Zen. I was trying to do both.

We chatted on the balcony later, and I asked him about what he said about death. I drank and nodded as he talked and smoked cigarettes.

“When you’re sitting there long enough that you finally see that unbroken line between here and your grave, that you really are that grave every bit as much as you are sitting here… you’ll never feel as free as that.”

The night was long (three bars long) and full of conversations, but that’s the one that was in my head when I was nodding off that night, and in the shower the next morning.

For the next few weeks I kept having these spells where I’d see something super ordinary — a stranger yawning at a bus stop, or something — and I’d get the sensation that I was looking back on it, as if I was visiting it from a place where that doesn’t happen.

It culminated on a beach in New Zealand a few weeks later. I had another spell, and realized what was happening. I was being repeatedly overcome by the simple fact that I was here. That doesn’t sound like an astonishing revelation, but it was, and that had something to do with being simultaneously aware that I will one day not be here.

Understanding those two insultingly simple facts — that you’re definitely here, and that you will definitely one day not be here — combine to form something beautiful. The professor called it anicca but we can call it impermanence. It’s irrefutable, and we kill ourselves trying to refute it all the time. Things change constantly, and when you insist they don’t, you suffer. When you can learn to go along for the ride, ordinary moments become compelling. 

_________________________________________________________

This is exactly what I’ve been trying to do and realize in my daily life. God put me here, all of us here. You may not believe that, but I do. And the realization that we have been a part of this world for the 22 years (or however long it’s been) and we are here for today, maybe not tomorrow. We are here for this minute, perhaps not for the next. We are here NOW and will not be here in the future. Who knows when that reality will come? Will we be ready for it? Will we face that immortality with fear or will we embrace it with incredible joy? We are here for today. We are here for now. Will we face or embrace our everyday with love, grace, joy, kindness, and anticipation? Will we look at our family, our friends, our pets with a sense of wonder that we are in one amazing moment with them for this one shining instant? We are here now. Will we enjoy every taste of coffee in the mornings, every scent of a flower in a field, every loving touch of hand, every sight of a smile, and every beautiful sound of the words “I love you”? Will we remember that we are here for now, maybe not for later?

-This part was mine. My thoughts on what I’d found. I hope we can remember.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

gettingwithit:

livejamie:

Traveling the world and shooting 1 second of footage in each location

Yes.

I need to do this.

Monday, August 1, 2011

words to live by

 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

-Colossians 3:15-17

Saturday, July 30, 2011
i love this quote and this photo.
so appropriate.

i love this quote and this photo.

so appropriate.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

you may be looking at me but you’re also looking right through me

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
beyourselfalways

beyourselfalways

Saturday, July 16, 2011
Hash browns, eggs, mimosas, & flowers.
What a wonderful morning.

Hash browns, eggs, mimosas, & flowers.

What a wonderful morning.

"Always," said Snape.
<3

"Always," said Snape.

<3

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

when you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part.

when you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part.