Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Independence Day Harley Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

AK_H-D_1Life is a precious thing. It’s delicate, fragile, and tenuous. It can be taken from us in any moment. James Gandolfini’s sudden death was recent reminder of the precariousness of life. Alive one day; dead the next.

We’ve constructed the world to hide dangers. We take comfort from sterilized countertops. We ride in cars equipped with air bags, antilock brakes, and steel reinforced bodies. This safety helps us to go to sleep. We are less awake, paying less attention to the road, and what it means to be going by at 70 miles an hour.

Today is Independence Day in the United States and as you may know from my previous posts, it is not one of my favorite holidays.

We celebrate independence from British tyranny yet succumb to other tyrannies: our judgmental minds, FOMO (fear of missing out), contingent self-worth and many, many others.

What would true independence look like? It would be freedom from fear. What would true liberation feel like? It would be freedom from limitations based on fear.

It would be not basing your entire self-worth on what other people think of you. It would not be a preoccupation with the behavior of others.

Freedom is relaxing into this moment–free to move where you want, how you want without recrimination, micromanagement, or anxiety. Things can be as they are. Life is play, even breathing can be fun.

Independence can be found riding on a motorcycle. I am still constrained by the laws of physics but I am freed from the illusion of safety and woken to the preciousness of life unfolding beneath my feet. I am free to see and to hear the movement through the world. Enjoying the experience of riding rather than just getting from point A to point B.

Rather than watching a jingoistic parade, I will get on the Harley and ride somewhere. The destination is not important, the process of being awake is what matters most. I will remember that true freedom comes from within my own mind and it is a freedom we must claim in every moment of every day, not just on special occasions like the 4th of July.

Be Free. Be Independent. Be happy.

 

 

 



Previous Posts

Time to Wake Up: Reading Your Way to Awakening
We have been asleep, collectively and individually and there is a growing call to wake up. The Buddha was the first to suggest this change in consciousness 2500 years ago (and as you know the term buddha means one who has awakened). And now there are three books that have come to my attention with w

posted 11:05:45am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Citizen of the Cosmos
I recently heard Ann Druyan interviewed on Radio Lab. She spoke of falling in love with Carl Sagan when they were working together on the Voyager mission in the late 70s, where she was in charge of developing the content that would be sent out into space for alien cultures to discover. It was a touc

posted 9:59:05am Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »

The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Discovery
Polly Young-Eisendrath has a new book out, her fourteenth. This is a book like no other that I've ever read. It is a memoir and it recounts events that I lived through as dharma friends of Polly and the love of her life, Ed Epstein. The Present Heart is a statement on the nature of love. It defin

posted 8:41:37am Oct. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Mindfulness and Climate Action
One Earth Sangha presents Mindfulness and Climate Action, a series of online conversations. These are free and start today and will continue through October into November. I am especially excited that Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield will be presenting today. I hope you can catch it. You can regi

posted 8:31:51am Oct. 05, 2014 | read full post »

A Chilling View Inside the Quiet Room: Electric Shocks Preferred to Sitting Still
A study recently published in Science provides a window into the restless soul of Americans and a compelling case of why we need mindfulness. University of Virginia psychologist Timothy Wilson and colleagues conducted a series of experiments where subjects spent time alone in an unadorned room. We

posted 8:53:12am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.