Coming back to Ourselves
I have been thinking about the arrow of attention lately after watching the incredible Peter Kingsley materials posted on Youtube and it occured to me last night as I dined with my wife at a birthday party in an upscale restaurant. As the conversations around the table took place I placed my hands on my knees and tried to sit alert keeping back inner-attention on myself as I engaged in being-in-the-moment; also placing my two feet flat on the floor to ground myself during talking helped to "bring me back to myself". At my level of being these are merely "exercises" but I nevertheless get a sense of the power that directed-attention can bring. This morning thinking about all of this it occured to me that this exercise comes more naturally to me because of my formative years in middle-school and high school where I was acutely self-conscious of my appearance and therefor had already been "holding something back" for myself without any formal instruction. These were years of great inner-suffering for me; what a gift then, this thorn in my side, which I had always credited with forming me as an "artist"... the real art, of course, consists in becoming fully human, a task we can never really completely arrive at; each day we begin again where we are. But my life is indeed blessed, and as I near my 49th year, everyday I consider it roses, roses... this bit is the icing on the cake! To be able to see the beauty and suffering underying all life, simulatneously, and to realize that the endings are just as important as the beginnings. And all the while, life flows on "within you, without you."