Mind-blowing sex, sweet butterfly-stomach romance, big nights out, the beauty of that woman/man you covet and can't have, your own beauty, parenthood, jobs, volcanoes, flowers, our bodies, heartache, caffeine highs, arguments with your partner, nations, careers, beliefs, spiritual experiences, youth, marriage ... absolutely everything has its moment of full wondrous expression before it inevitably fades back into the silence from which it arose. Every minute we spend in desperation trying to hold onto (or get rid of) that which just cannot last anyway, is a minute spent overlooking the peace and juicy wonderment available in this exact moment, regardless of what's happening.
Joy is that kind of happiness that does not depend on what happens. ~ David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine Monk into Buddhism.
So much of our lives is spent running towards something, running away from it, and just completely ignoring the reality that everything has its moment and will inevitably fade away. The evidence for this surrounds you. It has been your entire life experience. Fascinatingly, it is a source of your greatest sorrows. It also holds the key to your greatest capacity for true joy.
A few years ago, I went through a phase shortly after reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth. As I would sense when I was about to move from one place to another (say, leaving a restaurant), I would silently ask myself, “Am I complete here with this experience? Am I leaving in anxiety, as if there’s somewhere better for me to be right now? Or is this moment, what I came here to enjoy and experience, simply complete? Has it had its full bloom?”
It was a powerful reminder that (a) everything must inevitably end, and (b) there is ultimately nowhere for me to go. Anywhere I go, I’m always going to be HERE, right where I am, anyway. There is no escaping myself. There is no “better” place to get to. There is simply the next moment, the next experience. It might feel different than this one, but it, too, will have its full expression, and inevitable conclusion.
As I dove into those questions at that time, I noticed how calm my mind and body became. I noticed sometimes I even sat a bit longer, in silence, wherever I was. Sometimes a reeeeally juicy peace, a playful, full-bodied joy even, would overcome my being, simply because I knew that right where I was at that moment, was perfectly enough.
Everything around you is going to disappear. EVERYTHING. Even your own body. The things you love deeply and can’t imagine living without. The things you despise and have been trying desperately to get rid of.
This is good news. Because it liberates you to simply enjoy what’s happening in THIS moment, regardless whether the sensations feel good or not. The real beauty is that even if you don’t like what’s happening, you don’t have to DO anything to make it go away. Sure, try your best if you will, but even pain and suffering will have its season of full bloom.
Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is, said, “If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish.”
Now I know that one might chafe a bit, and we can dive deeper into that another time. For now, simply place your awareness on the fact that it's wondrously impossible we're even alive. Just really soak that in. Be where you are, in the sense that you allow yourself to fully inhabit your experience right now. Whether you like it or not; no matter how hard you struggle to keep it or lose it, this moment will inevitably give away to the next. And the next. And the next.
This is your life. Enjoy it thoroughly.
About Bryan Reeves
Bryan Reeves manages transformational music artists and blogs about his experience at www.ManagingTheMagic.com. Bryan was once a Captain in the US Air Force before becoming the worldwide PR Spokesperson for an Oprah-endorsed human energy research company. He currently manages pop-spiritual-fusion music band HERE II HERE (www.hereiihere.com) and electro-pop artist Ash Ruiz whose hot, lyrical music raises the volume of Your True Nature (www.ashruiz.com).