Missing Life?


All that happens is here and now. If we are elsewhere, we are in fact missing out.

Or, as John Lennon put it:

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

We are told this a lot. But how do we come into the here and now? And, perhaps more to the point, how do we stay here and now?!

We have to pay attention. The best and perhaps easiest way to do this is to pay attention to the people around us. There are always people around us, including animals. Cherish them. Buddhists are aiming to love everyone, but we start with those right under our noses, thinking: “This person is important. This person’s happiness matters.”

As we develop this skill, our life develops an extraordinary richness and happiness.

As my Buddhist Teacher Geshe Kelsang says in Eight Steps to Happiness (page 56):

Whenever we are with other people we should be continuously mindful that their happiness and wishes are at least as important as our own. Of course, we cannot cherish all living beings right away, but by training our mind in this attitude, beginning with our family and friends, we can gradually extend the scope of our love until it embraces all living beings. When in this way we sincerely cherish all living beings, we are no longer an ordinary person but have become a great being, like a Bodhisattva.

Comments

  1. I really like how you link mindfulness and compassion as a way to stay present – very nice!

  2. Kelsang Chogma says:

    I can really relate to this video – in the city I see so many people staring at their phones to distract themselves while they wait for anything. Standing in a queue is a great opportunity to talk to a stranger but we don’t often take it.

  3. we specialize in wasting time.
    because we have no concentration, and when finally reached, easily lost, because we do not have enough power, or waiver to retain the merger.

    • True Eduardo. A good way to increase our concentration is to cherish others, interestingly enough, as it helps overcome the source of most of our distractions, namely selfishness, attachment, greed, anger and so on.

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