Take it easy, that’s life. A whisper breezed in the mind from nowhere, silently but not intrusively, as I turned at the bend in my usual morning walk. It was a slightly damp morning and the world was just awakening.
Take it easy, that’s life.
We often hear and say that to ourselves and others around us. But saying is easy. Intellectual wealth is different from experiential wealth. Perhaps we know it intellectually, intuitively, and might even have the knowledge through experiences. However, the mind is treacherous. We forget. At times, small reminders serve good purposes.
I came searching for stories, and answers I did not know I was seeking. I realised I have been blind. My mind was oblivious and the veil of confusion that I refused to acknowledge over the past couple of months seem to have lifted. Answers lie within all these while. I was blind. Blinded by ignorance, greed and irrational fear. Blinded by complacency. Blinded by a false sense of security. Why does the mind do that? I pondered on this and at the same time, a fact called for attention: Life goes on.
I walked on, and realised that my steps have slowed. ‘Am I walking like a zombie?’ I found myself wondering as the mind got distracted from my train of serious thoughts. I hope I was not walking like a
ghost zombie like some of the other meditators. I assured myself I was not, and then berated myself for judging. Teachings from the previous night reminded:
“Every mental conditioning is impermanent, having the nature of arising and passing away. This is how the sankhara multiplies. If one develops wisdom and starts observing objectively, the process of multiplication stops and the process of eradication begins.”
Sankhara (in Pali language): mental formation; volitional activity; mental reaction; mental conditioning. Sankhara is the kamma, the action that gives future results and that thus, is actually responsible for shaping one’s future life (Sanskrit: samskara)
You are what you think. So often, we find ourselves in the same
lousy unpleasant situations again and again. Well, it’s logical since we have been doing the same things again and again, led by our mental conditioning. Yet, we constantly question WHY? when the same lousy unpleasant situations happen to us. While we know and accept the laws of nature (e.g. the sun rises in the East, gravity on Earth, etc.), we tend to overlook or ignore the fundamental laws that apply to us. If one can stay aware in each situation and deal with the issues calmly and logically, then problems will get resolved eventually. Make this a living habit, and I reckon life will improve. Take it easy, that’s life. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
My mind has travelled in leaps and bounds while I strolled, but like the Hector dolphins, it has returned home. A favourite quote came into mind:
“Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Therein lies my answers. I have been searching for the purpose of life. I have been agonising what I should do. The magnitude of choices has overwhelmed me. But actually, it doesn’t matter. In spite of doubts, one needs to just make a choice, go forward, do something. It does not matter what. Just do it.
One of the most essential and perhaps challenging parts about a meditation camp like Vipassana is how the mind is forced to be disciplined. There’s no way to escape for the mind, and one has to face the underlying issues that one has been evading. You can run, but you can’t hide. Is this another law of nature?
[To be continued]
If you have enjoyed the above article, please stay tuned for more as I will be sharing a series of my daily thoughts on the 10-day Vipassana meditation at Dhamma Malaya Center along with some useful tips to know before going. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. Peace, harmony and happiness to all!
- 10-Day Vipassana Meditation Review: Experience, Musings and Insights
- Vipassana Experience Day 1: Addiction and Breathing
- Vipassana Experience Day 2: Living in the MomentVipassana Experience Day 2: Living in the Moment
- Vipassana Experience Day 3: Pain and Beauty
- Vipassana Experience Day 4: Seeking Truth and Walk Hard
- Vipassana Experience Day 5: Vibrations and Meeting the Teacher
- Vipassana Experience Day 6: Strong Determination
- Vipassana Experience Day 7: How many colours are there in the clouds?
- Vipassana Experience Day 9: True Love
- Vipassana Experience Day 10: Gifts, Mindfulness & Metta