Stop, pause, breathe and witness the miracle of your Life!
In everyday living, the business of earn-a-living, keeps us so much on the edge that, sometimes, we don’t even know whether we are coming or going. There’s always so much to do. And so little time. Technology should have made Life easier – to be sure, it has – but we have complicated it by being addicted to it. Some people have got so addicted to facebook and Twitter that they are always feverishly typing away statuses and comments from their phones. Think about it. The first thing most of us do when we wake up is to reach for our cell-phones.
A quick look at your emails, facebook and Twitter notifications, WhatsApp messages and SMSes is now a subconscious first action. Even before you have brushed and freshened up, this is what you do. And the mind starts pounding away responses to what you have seen and read. By the time you are at work, you are so pumped up that, you carry that “rushed” frame of mind all through the day. Even when you are back home for dinner, you are still looking at your phone even as you eat. The same charade repeats itself day after day, even on weekends, and often on vacations too.
There may be nothing apparently wrong with this lifestyle. Except that you are probably missing the miracle in everyday living. Over time, as age catches up, you realize that you haven’t really lived the Life that you wanted. You have merely existed, gotten by, by surviving! This is why perhaps the venerable Russian dramatist Anton Chekov (1860~1904) famously said: “Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s day-to-day living that wears you out.”
A Zen story comes to mind. When Bankei Yotaku (1622~1693), the Japanese Zen Master, was teaching at the Ryomon Temple, a priest, who was jealous of Bankei’s large following, decided to debate with him to put him down. So, one day, when Bankei was in the middle of his Talk, the priest arrived and created a commotion. Bankei stopped his lecture and asked the preist what he wanted. “The founder of our sect,” boasted the priest, “had such miraculous powers that he held his brush in his hand on one bank of the river, while his disciple held a paper on the other bank, and yet he would be able to write the name of God on the paper – through air. Can you do such a thing?”
Bankei smiled. He replied: “Perhaps your founder, who is a genius it appears, can perform such a trick. But this is not how Zen works. My miracle is that when I feel hungry, I eat and when I feel thirsty, I drink.”
To be alive, to experience this Life that you and I have been given, is the biggest miracle of them all. It is also the greatest wealth we can ever have. The truth is that we have it and the tragedy is that we don’t realize we have it. So, we keep searching for it and in the process squander it. Remember: your Life is not going to change, unless you change the way you live!