Our Western culture is not particularly kind towards people who don’t run about acting busy and trying to impress others with how busy they are. And I am a product of my times and my geography. Delude myself as I may, I’m not all that much the rebel. I have my areas of rebellion but I’m still pretty much the typical american.
One place where I know I walk my own path is in the area of self-knowledge. It’s always been important to me to know who I am; to understand my strengths & weaknesses; to know when I’m telling myself the truth or lies.
I don’t sit for hours on end meditating. I don’t “medidate” at all, really. Unless we count the hours in a car/truck/RV when my mind is free to wander, or the times Peggy & I are walking in silence just enjoying our surroundings. On those moments when I don’t have to focus on anything crucial my mind takes off and I have conversations with my self, and get to know the inner me, and we have a little interrogatory, myself and me.
This quote from Ram Dass struck me as pretty accurate — at least from my own experience. It seems to me that it takes some internal dialogue to get to know yourself better. It takes enough of that willingness to self-scrutinize to see what it is that one is doing with and in their own life Habit — being the tremendous tool that it is — tends to insulate us from the motivation even in our own actions: we act out of habit, not out of conscious thought. It’s the thing to do. It’s what’s expected. Mom would want it this way. The boss expects it of me.
But if we listen to our own life then things really do change. That’s because of we listen to our own life we realize that life could be different; it doesn’t have to be the way it’s been; there are options; there are other ways of being; some of the things I’ve been doing haven’t been working, why not change: this guy doesn’t love me, why do I care about him; this gal is just using me, why can’t I see it; I thought I wanted to be a teacher/doctor/garbage collector, but I really woudn’t enjoy what those people do… etc. etc., etc..
And then things just change.
It’s simple, really.
The only thing it takes is a little quiet. Not a lot. But a little bit, repeated regularly. And then we begin to see, and once we have seen we cannot forget