Category Archives: being yourself

contemplation while walking in stanley park…today’s theme…


i think today is a perfect day for a walk in the park…it’s like you have the park to yourself…i am starting to realize and understand more and more why thoreau liked walking so much…
I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil–to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.
It is true, we are but faint-hearted crusaders, even the walkers, nowadays, who undertake no persevering, never-ending enterprises. Our expeditions are but tours, and come round again at evening to the old hearth-side from which we set out. Half the walk is but retracing our steps. We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return– prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms. If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again–if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man–then you are ready for a walk.
http://www.transcendentalists.com/walking.htm
so off I went on my walk into the very quiet and wet woods…through the trails I wandered…watching, listening, feeling…I came across a though about beginner’s mind…and that is you can’t be looking or searching for anything, you just have to recognize and look at that which is already inside you and around you…but there is a great balance in the journey, it must be both inward and outward…too inward and you lose touch with physical reality…too outward and you lose touch with yourself and the ethereal world…
i have been reading a great deal of alan watts again lately…especially “become what you are”…the essays are sitting there below the surface percolating…subtext to the daily script…on my walk today two thoughts kept recurring…
don’t confuse what you want for who you are…
nobody can take you to exactly where they have been, but they may help take you to where you are going..
and so it goes…that will sit under the surface and as I go about life the meaning will become more clear to me…one other thing that I really get now is the concept of zen or nirvana or what be it…I now see what they mean when they say it matters not if you achieve it…that is because if you do achieve it you will realize it was there all along and you have merely awaken to it…if you never achieve it you will unaware of what you were missing anyway…it is the kind of place you are better for having visited, but none the worse if you never find it…keep enjoying the peace…
we may have lived in the past and we may yet live in the future, but we do live in the present..
some alan watts I have been contemplating:
The Buddha, who lived some 600 years BCE, taught that life, as we live it, is necessarily unharmonious because of the selfish, possessive attitude we adopt towards it. In Sanskrit this attitude is called trishna (often mistranslated desire), and though there is no one word for it in English, it may be understood as the craving to resist change, to “save our own skins”, at all costs, to possess those whom we love; in fact to hold onto life “like grim death.” And that particular phrase has its moral. If anything that lives and moves is held, it dies just like a plucked flower. Egotism is a fierce holding on to oneself; it is building oneself up in a haughty stronghold, refusing to join in the play of life, refusing to accept the eternal laws of change of movement to which all are subject. But that refusal can only be an illusion. Whether we like it or not, change comes, and the greater the resistance, the greater the pain. Buddhism perceives the beauty of change, for life is like music in this: if any note or phrase is held for longer than its appointed time, the melody is lost. Thus Buddhism may be summed up in two phrases: “Let go!” and “Walk on!” Drop the craving for self, for permanence , for particular circumstances, and go straight ahead with the movement of life.

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I am a rock, I am an island…


It all started with a muted sunset and the sand.  It really got me to thinking, though where it will take me I never really know.  It is funny in life how you have flashes of different ways of looking at the world from time to time.  Eventually they can become an entire new way of looking at the world and you never really perceive the tipping point, you know you viewed the world differently before but it is not always evident exactly what the change was.  In time you entirely lose the way you used to think or be.  The main thing I got out of tonight was about how our perception limited to whatever exists right around us.  We simply can’t perceive something out of that immediate sphere.  Anything outside of that is merely a representation in our minds.  It doesn’t really exist for us, we just have faith that it does.  We don’t have any empirical proof of it though.  If you took a picture of something occurring right now it would just show something that existed in the past, only the picture would exist at this moment.  It is incredible how most of our experience instantly flows right through us.  It is like we are a rock in the fast moving current.  Some thoughts, ideas, and memories may cling to us for a brief second or even be held there for a time by a current, but a tiny shift in the current and they are swept away and gone forever.  When the river runs slowly more stuff clings to us or it clings to us for a moment longer.  Once the current increases again some of that will wash away.

Continue reading I am a rock, I am an island…

Rainy day people don’t mind if you’re cryin’ a tear or two…


Well no sunsets for the next few days.  The winter rains have settled in to envelop us bringing with them a different perspective.  I do like the winter rain in many ways, the moodiness and solemnity as well as the way it encourages reflection.  At the same time I would also dread it as there are periods where it seems endless and as if the sky is falling in on you.  Ultimately we need a combination of sun and rain for all life to flourish.  If there was only sunshine things would eventually wither and die.  So the rains bless us with this fantastic greenery that surrounds us and which comes to life in the spring.  I am certainly developing a much different outlook on this winter weather.  Not to mention it sure beats a polar vortex.

Lately I have felt extremely at peace with my life and the world.  It is an indescribable feeling, but one you’d know if you’ve experienced it.  I believe it would be different for all of us, but we can still relate on the general principle.  Having such a feeling is very different for me.  It is not something that I have felt for any extended length of time.  My world and mind is generally somewhat chaotic, which is not necessarily a negative state.  It is often one which invokes a great deal of creativity.  It also allows me to switch my focus from one task or topic to a new one quite easily.  On the other side it can prevent me from finishing what I have started, as once I know it can be completed I won’t always follow through.  Just the knowledge that it can be completed is fine for me.

Continue reading Rainy day people don’t mind if you’re cryin’ a tear or two…

There’s something deep inside of me, there’s someone I forgot to be…


He is freed from himself, which is the only thing which has ever bound anyone, because he has let himself go.  The unenlightened man keeps a tight hold on himself because he is afraid of losing himself; he can trust neither circumstances nor his own human nature; he is terrified of being genuine, of accepting himself as he is and tries to deceive himself into the belief that he is as he wishes to be.  But these are the wishes, the desires that bind him, and it was such desires as these that the Buddha described as the cause of human misery.
People imagine that letting themselves go would have disastrous results; trusting neither circumstance nor themselves, which together make up life, they are forever interfering and trying to make their own souls and the world conform with preconceived patterns.  This interference is simply the attempt of the ego to dominate life.  But when you see that all such attempts are fruitless and when you relax the fear-born resistance to life in yourself and around you which is called egoism, you realize the freedom of the union with Brahman.
Alan Watts.

I read this the other day and it really spoke to me, and hit home with me.  I realized how much of my life I had spent trying to achieve a predetermined outcome in most situations in which I found myself.  How often I was disappointed when the outcome didn’t come close to what I had imagined it would be, or even the times I was disappointed when it did come close.  I had done everything right in my estimation, it seemed perfect to me.  I forget though that we are only one component to a very complex equation or situation.  We have the flaw of only being able to see things from our own point of view, everything that anyone else thinks we can only presume through our tainted glasses.  We cannot begin to imagine all the experience and perceptions they bring to the experience.  In addition, we rarely ask the questions required to gather that information, not that such questions wouldn’t be limited anyway.  There are so many factors which determine the outcome in any circumstance we find ourselves in or observing and we can influence so few of those factors.

Continue reading There’s something deep inside of me, there’s someone I forgot to be…

If you’re on your own in this life, the days and nights are long…


One thing I am really learning about and working on is to get rid of expectations.  Taking in the sunsets when I can has really got me contemplating this idea.  I have realized that often expectations rob us of the joy of the moment.  This isn’t to be confused with anticipation which can be exciting in its own right.  Expectations on the other hand give us a preconceived notion of how we would like thing to work out, or believe things will work out.  So if I have the expectation that something is going to be exceptional and it turns out to be wonderful in a different way I may still enjoy the occurrence.  The trouble lies later when I go to analyze the difference between what I expected to happen and what actually occurred.  No matter how good the actual experience or event was I will measure it against, and compare it to, my expectations.  That in itself takes some of the magic and enjoyment out of the experience.  Whereas if I don’t form any expectation of an event and just live it organically I will experience the joy in the moment.  Therefore, if the experience is wonderful then I will partake in its wonder, if it is exceptional I will cherish the exception.  If I don’t go in with a preconceived outcome I can just take it for what it is.

Continue reading If you’re on your own in this life, the days and nights are long…