The difference between ordinary and ‘extra-ordinary’ living makes all the difference: wake up!


Ordinary living

What characterises ordinary living?  What if I said:

Separation.  I occur to myself as being separate from all else that is – the tree, the grass, the river, the mountain, you.

Survival.  I am committed to my survival – to make to the end of the day, intact.  You could say that my genes have wired me to survive so that they can pass on to the next generation.

Fixing.  I am fixing stuff that is not as I say it should be.  I strive to fix myself, fix you, fix this, fix that.  Fixing shows up as necessary to ensuring my survival – my place in this world.

Searching.  I search for answers on as to how I should behave, how you should behave, how to fix stuff, how to get ahead in the world – from books, from magazines, from the internet, from you, from the gurus / experts, and sometimes myself.

Striving.  I am constantly striving to get somewhere other than where I am.  Striving bo be somebody rather than whom I am, a nobody or not good enough.  Striving to attain money-status-position-power.  Striving to look younger/older, more beautiful/less beautiful.

Someday.  I tell myself that someday I will be the person who I want to be; someday I will be living where I want to live; someday I will be living how I want to live; someday I will be living with the kinds of people I want to live with; someday I will have the money that I need to have; someday I will have the right job for me……..

The Matrix.  I am fully enmeshed in the matrix that is my mind – concepts, ideas, fantasies, dreams, ideologies, points of view, fears, concerns, desires, attachments – and in the process I am not present to the experience of living.  I drink tea and am not present to the experience.  I drive and cannot even remember driving.  I eat and do not taste my food…

Faulty / Not Good Enough.  I occur to myself as ‘faulty’, ‘insufficient’, ‘incomplete’, ‘not good enough’ and so I do my very best to ‘look good, avoid looking bad’.  So I strive to achieve to get access to the symbols that show people that I sufficient, complete, good enough, important, signficant…..Yet no matter where I get to the context that gives me being (and the doing that arises from that) is one of being ‘faulty / not good enough / incomplete’.  I might fool others, I don’t fool myself – not for long anyway.

Present to what is missing/wrong.  I look at life through the lens of the ‘glass half empty’.  Something is missing that I really need to be OK with what is so, to live fully.  Something is wrong – it does not match my point of view on what should be so.  So I either complain or start fixing.  I am not present to the ‘glass being half-full or completely full’.

Struggle.  Life, our living occurs as a struggle – at work, at home, with family, without family, with friends, without friends…. – a never ending struggle to have things be the way that I want them to be.  And as soon as I get what I want, I want something different or I want what I have to be different.

‘Extra-ordinary living’

What is the access to extra-ordinary living?  I have been reading (again) a book  that I read many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed.  This time I read it very differently and this passage showed up which I want to share with you as it provides an access to ‘extra-ordinary’ living:

“Wake up! Wake up! Soon the person you believe you are will die – so now, wake up

and be content with this knowledge: There is no need to search; achievement leads nowhere.  It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now!

Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see.

And the only laws are paradox, humour, and change.

There is no problem, never was, and never will be.

Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world.

No need to resist life; just do your best.

Open your eyes and see that you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too!  It’s all the marvelous Play of God.

Wake up, regain your humour.

Don’t worry, you are already free!”

Absolutely everything that gets done gets done today, right now!


Nine months of putting off the tax return and then it is done in under a hour

Yesterday I finally completed my annual tax return – one day before the deadline, else I would have faced a penalty for late submission.   That probably does not mean anything to you unless I share that:

  • It only took one hour for me to get the paperwork ready, enter the right data into TaxCalc and then submit it electronically – just one hour!
  • I could have done this as far back as the 1st June 2011 – 9 months ago;
  • I had made a decision to get this done over Christmas and never did;
  • I made a decision to get this done in January and each weekend I found an excuse not to do it!

So here is what there is to get:

  • It needed to be done – that is simply what is so irrespective of my thoughts and feelings about it, reality demands it be done;
  • For 9 months I did not do it even though I have been aware that it had to be done – I kept putting it off; and
  • When I did do it, it only took me one hour – just one hour, it was that easy!

What is going on here?

Why would I decide it needs to be done and then i would find excuses for not doing it?  Why would i make such a fuss over so little work?  After all i has done all kinds of stuff that has taken more effort than doing the tax return?  One of the core practices of zen is to accept what is so and then inquire deeply to understand what is going on.  So what has been going on with me?  Having done that work I distinguished that:

  • i never wanted to do it and hoped it could get away with doing it;
  • Every time I showed up and said “It needs to be done” and set a date i found a way of not doing it;
  • i was able to get I to collude in that by doing “something that I considered valuable / worthy”;
  • When I became resolute, 100% resolute (not a grain of doubt was present) then the tax return got done inside one hour.

So what have I gotten out of my experience?

Nothing ever gets done someday.  The kind of mind that generates ‘someday’ will continue generating ‘someday’.  If ‘someday’ shows up in your world then know that it is being generated by mind, your i.  And that it is simply a ploy for i to not do what I says should/needs to be done.

Anything and everything that gets done gets done now – always, no exceptions! Do you get that?  It really is  something profound and getting it provides me, you, us access to being powerful and generating the kind of lives that we dream of and do not generate.

The access to get things done right now is being RESOLUTE – as ‘hard as a diamond’ in your stand.  This will get done and it will get done right now.  And remember that taking the first step right now is doing it right now.   Yes, it is: all I, you, we can do right now is to take that step and keep taking that step every moment until it is done.

I knew when the tax return would not get done and when it was going to get done.  I just knew it.  The difference? An inner conviction – a resolute stand as ‘fierce as a starving lion’ was present when the tax return got done, it was not present when it did not get done.

The mind creates demons and terrors out of nothing and is doing it all the time! The tax return did not get done because my mind (“i”) had convinced itself it was going to be hard AND unpleasant – i would have to pay more money in the form of tax that would be wasted by the Government.  i was totally convinced of that.  The reality: it took only one hour and the Government owes me just a little less than £2,000.  £2,000 I could have gotten back, into my bank account, over 9 months ago!  I believe Susan Jeffers coined a wonderful term: “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!”  What wisdom there is in her words.

I love you, thank you for listening to my speaking.  What demons has your mind created?  Which aspects of your life would yield if your being was as resolute as mountain of granite?