Oakville Zen Meditation

#203 Time can be a dread Nov. 26th 17

                                                            Time can be a dread

 Once a while, I observe animals and pets and envy their pragmatism, calm and, maybe, their wisdom.

Their life is not fun, mostly routine. They suffer like all of us and yet they do not seem to make a “big deal of their dull and non-exciting life ”. Their lives seem to have few complications. They eat the same food, sleep when tired and don’t control anything.

As far we can judge, every animal is so busy with what he is doing in the current moment that he never bother asking whether life is good or bad, fair or unfair or what they regret from the past, expect or fear for the future. For them, happiness consists in living only in the present moment and not in the assurance that the past was better or the future will be full of expectations and without suffering.

The “I want - don’t want”, “ I like-don’t like”, “I control this and that” I believe this” so common to human beings are reduced to a minimum, if any, in other living beings.

Without question, the power of human mind adds immensely to the richness of our life thru its creativity and power. Yet, we pay dearly, because the phenomenal increase in our thinking power and emotional mind compared with those of animals, make us peculiarly vulnerable to “introspective suffering”. This is a paradoxical and unwanted consequence of being “too smart” or being “over thinking”.

If it is OK to look for fun and pleasure, we must also be able to accept adversity.

We cannot escape this duality and yet we resent it even fight against it dearly.

This is the law of nature since life does not have any feeling or any favorites among us.

This duality pleasure and pain alternates or will in the future. The more we love someone or something, the greater our grief and sorrow will be. For all other living beings, to be happy means that the current moment is OK, nothing else. But humans, apart with few exceptions, are almost never satisfied with this present moment being judged too routine, too dull or whatever. They need to travel in many space-times.

We are more addicted to the regrets from the past and the expectations of the future than to the NOW. There is nothing wrong in traveling continuously in many space-times and planning as long as it does not spoil or even destroy your current life. This typical human problem that is projecting a negative future or regretting a good moment of the past is living in a virtual world and a recipe for permanent unhappiness, dissatisfaction, anxiety even depression.

The power of our mind creating memories and expectations is such that for most of us, the past and future not only exist – of course they do exist - but are more real than the only true reality t of the he present moment This is pure deceptive delusion.

What is the use to us to remember and predict all the time if we are unable to live fully in the present. Past and future are acting like a dimer on the light of the present. After all, the future is quite meaningless and unimportant unless it becomes the present.

Planning is of course necessary but being in the future or the past most of all the time is counterproductive and a significant source of unhappiness and frustration. Our ability to travel all the time in different space-times and create good and bad scenarios are like a fictional movie. This is the price that we have to pay to be “smarter “ than other animals. Our body is always in the present but our mind is elsewhere making our body a stranger to its own environment. This split between body and mind is a subconscious source of stress.

How can you achieve serenity if:

We are clinging to what we do not have or cannot have.

We have to control this and that.

We believe in our thoughts as reality.