Monday, November 17, 2014

Meaning in Life

"If you want a meaning in your life, find a meaning and bring it into your life, but life won't give you a meaning. Meaning is a concept. It is a notion of an end toward which you are going. The point of Buddhism is This Is It."
~ Joseph Campbell, Myths of Light

Though I wouldn't call myself a Buddhist, I willingly acknowledge This Is It. This moment is truly all I have. I plan for the future: what I'll wear tomorrow; how soon I can pay off my credit cards; dinner plans with a friend. That keeps my mind's eye pointed in that direction. What I have, though, is NOW: the clatter of dishes in the sink, the people around me talking, the music playing over the radio..... and what's most alive in my soul.

What is it that's alive in my soul? In this moment, it's gratitude: for a warm place to sit; for the technology on which I am typing; for the tea I am drinking; for the people in my life, individually and collectively; for my employment.

For me, the most difficult part of This Is It rests in letting go of the plans, of the chatter of my mind about what more needs to be done, of the itch to tap the next screen and read the next text. I live and breathe our fast-paced, overwrought world. Besides that, I'm an information junkie ~~ in certain arenas. I love reading, learning, discovering. Those things keep me focused on the future, on tomorrow or, at the very least, on the next moment.

For now, I'll take a deep breath, let my fingers rest beside the keys rather than on them, close my eyes, and let the breath flow out of me.

How do you stay focused on this moment, the one you are in? Do you believe This Is It? or do you believe there is more? How do you balance yourself between the Now and the Then?

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