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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Independence Day Harley Style

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.

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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.

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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

Happy Birthday to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
July 6 will be the 80th birthday of His Holiness (HH) the Dalai Lama. I first encountered the Dalai Lama when he would have been ...

posted 2:06:43pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Introverts and Extroverts at the Neuronal Level
Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I have a thing for metaphors. Those of you who have been to my workshops know that I have a thing for the brain. I have been delighted to read Giorgio Ascoli's book, Trees of the Brain, Roots ...

posted 12:11:28pm Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Set Aside Greed and Distress with Reference to the World
The Buddha encouraged his monks to be "ardent, alert, & mindful" and to put "aside greed and distress in reference to the ...

posted 2:29:24pm Jun. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Tame Your Sabotaging Self-Talk Part 2
The second part of my interview with Self-Promotion for Introverts author, Nancy Ancowitz, is now available on her Psychology Today blog or ...

posted 7:34:40am Jun. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Laughter and Awakening
A recent column in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review discussed laughter. It was written by Bodhipaksa and debunks the quote that is attributed to the ...

posted 7:29:06am Jun. 03, 2015 | read full post »

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