Oakville Zen Meditation

486: Being self vs. Doing self by Martin

    Being self vs. Doing self  by Martin

I'd like to begin with a quote from Alan Watts, who asserts, “The meaning of life is to be alive... it's so simple. Everybody rushes around in great panic as if it is necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” In a world saturated with materialism and incessant striving, British philosopher and writer Alan Watts demonstrated through Eastern wisdom how to discover a more meaningful life by challenging societal norms. He believed that meaning could be found even in the most mundane aspects of life through the practice of a beginner's mind—simply observing without judgment. Fulfillment doesn't necessarily require external validation; one can find satisfaction in everyday activities, such as washing dishes, by seeing them with fresh eyes, irrespective of circumstances. Expanding awareness of such activities can lead to more profound life experiences.

Simultaneously, societal pressures compel us to perform and meet social expectations. We must acknowledge this reality. While society may often inquire about our occupations or similar matters, we should also recognize the potency of the default brain network, which operates effortlessly during certain activities when the mind is at ease. Profound thoughts can emerge during meditations, walks, sleep, and even in the shower. To strike a balance, engage in performance when necessary, but also allocate time for rest to allow the day's thoughts to organize themselves in the subconscious realms.