After growing up in a terribly dysfunctional family, growing up riddled with neuroses, after decades of living with such profound anxiety that it was difficult for me to concentrate on anything or even think straight, underneath all the inner turmoil of my life I eventually started to get an intuitive feeling of the presence of a deeper, very subtle layer. Something clear, calm and silent that flows underneath my thoughts. And I see now that that deeper layer has always been there, all my life. In fact it is my life, the source, the wellspring of my life. To be aware of it, to bring my consciousness more in line with it, requires two things of me, to: (1) relax, and (2) pay attention to what is actually going on. These two imperatives apply at all times, during good times and bad, no matter what is happening in my life. I can’t remember exactly when it was that I realized that these two basic things are really the keys to life. Now I try to remember them as much as I can, to remind myself. They are simple principles but not so easy to put into practice. Often I catch myself being inattentive or getting caught up in useless anxiety, but when I notice these lapses I remind myself to get back to the basics, to relax and to pay attention, and then I get the sense of things falling back into place again.

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