Whatever you are doing, be fully present in it. Then you will taste Life to the fullest, one sip at a time!
Earlier in the day, I was sipping some iced tea that my wife had made. She had topped it with some fresh mint. The tea was delicious. And the mint was refreshing. I enjoyed every sip of it. I simply loved the cold drink. I thought to myself that some tea-picker in Assam or Darjeeling or Munnar may have picked the leaf that was processed with utmost precision, then it must have been shipped to warehouses and then to a neighbourhood store before it ended up in our kitchen. My wife, while making the drink, must have taken so much care to ensure that there was just enough tea to keep the flavor mild – else it would have gone bitter. I was glad I was “present” and “mindful” as I sipped the tea. Because, there are times when I would have mechanically – just as you would have too – drunk it while checking facebook or reading the newspaper or working on my computer. When you are present and mindful of whatever small act you are doing, or are involved in, you see a great celebration of Life in it. When you are absent, you miss the magic in the moment, completely!
Osho, the Master, was, when he was a young boy, one day pulled up by his school principal.
The principal called him and said, “You are almost always absent from class.”
Osho said, “That’s where you are wrong.”
The principal said, “What do you mean?”
Osho said, “I am always present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of Life. And what can I do? – this one mile between the school and my house…. A magician was doing his tricks on the street, and I became present there. It was far more interesting than your teachers, and I learned more than I could have learned here – because whatever your teacher is saying I can read in the book, but I will never meet that magician again. And he did such beautiful tricks that when he was finished I followed him to his tent outside the city.
“He asked me, ‘Son, why are you following me?’ I said, ‘You are getting old. Don’t you want your tricks to live on even when you are gone?’ He said, ‘That seems to be meaningful! – you can come in. Many people have asked me to teach them the tricks, but not in this way.’ So I have been with the magician.
“Life is a bigger school than your school. And I am, each moment, present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of Life, so you please take your words back.”
The principal said, “In that case I will have to see your father.”
Osho replied, “You can see anybody you like, but remember that my father knows me perfectly well. Just let me be informed when you are coming so I can also be present there. You both will be absent – because my father is continuously busy with his business, and you are busy with who is absent, who is present. At least let somebody into that meeting who is present!”
Osho then told his principal: “Be honest and sincere and tell me: Are you present right now?”
He said, “My God, perhaps you are right. I was thinking of my buffalo – she has not returned for two days.”
Osho said, “You need not be worried, I know where she is. That’s the beauty of being present everywhere! I have seen her just by the side of the tent of the magician. Now what do you say: Was it more worthwhile my coming to the class, or finding your lost buffalo? You can go and catch hold of her.”
Osho’s debate with his principal may be a very unique instance of someone being able to challenge conventional thinking. But there’s a great lesson, an unputdownable takeaway in it. Which is, that when you are not present where you are, you often miss Life as it is happening to you. Whether it is in an important business meeting or when making love or when watching a movie or when driving – if you observe yourself closely, you will find that you are really not present. Which is why you are not at peace with yourself and your Life. Try immersing yourself in whatever you do, be mindful in the moment, and see how your Life transforms! Your problems and challenges may still remain where they are, but you will be drenched in peace and bliss!