But the other day, I became aware that although I have become adept at going with things as they are, that skill was being applied to smaller matters/occurrences. When it came to larger matters, the goals I had set for myself to give me direction in the present, I was not applying this practice. If things being the way they are meant that I faced a setback or seemingly insurmountable obstacle to achieving my goal, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t angry, but I definitely was not in good spirits.
When meditating this morning, I realized that was because I was attached to these goals. I hadn’t been careful to say to myself, “If it happens, great. If it doesn’t that’s OK too.”
That realization made me go deeper regarding being present and the emptiness of all 5 skandhas. When I focus on my breathing, there is only the present moment; that is the only reality; all else is thought, all else is in my mind. To try and imagine or “think” about the future is futile because it can, by definition, only be in my mind, and my mind is full of nothing but illusion. It can’t be real.
Everyone’s life needs direction or goals in order to not have a static life. But one cannot become attached to those goals. To think that calamity will strike if they are not achieved is nothing but the mind’s game.
Instead one needs to be flexible. That is the other key to being present. One must say to oneself, “If it happens, great. If it doesn’t happen, that’s OK too.” If one direction doesn’t work out, one tries another direction. If one goal doesn’t appear realistic, one looks elsewhere. Always basing one’s action on what one is experiencing in the present, not it what the mind conjures up about the future.
It’s about always coming back to my belief that I will be ok, safe, regardless what life throws in my path because I have and will always return to my true Buddha nature, my true self. That my only purpose in life is to offer myself and others joy and that all I need to be happy is to offer myself and others joy, be in the company of loved ones and friends, respect my mind, respect my body, being in contact with nature, and live within my means. And that is something that I can experience everywhere, regardless where I am, regardless the circumstance. All else is thought. All else is ego.
My directions and goals may have merit, but what I do with my life beyond the basics I have just stated is not essential to my experiencing peace and finding happiness in each moment.