The Best Article from Elephant Journal in 11 Years.

Via on Aug 6, 2013

Henry David Thoreau writes in Walden:

Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches to-day to save nine tomorrow.

Here’s the best article:

poohbearLife emerges out of the silence of our inner being. The life that we have in our mind, the life that is a reflection of our planning, the life that has been constructed out of bits and pieces in our environment—external conditioning, things we have observed in other people, things that influential people have told us—is actually not who we are.

That pre-planned life is rigid. It’s artificial. It’s unresponsive. It doesn’t reflect the life that we were born to live.

As a student of mine observed, obstacles—which are always with us—are not really obstacles when you work with them in the right way. And we have to work with them.

Many, many people tell me “I’m having a lot of problems doing this [meditation] practice because I am so busy. I’m really busy. I have a full life. It’s busy and I run from morning ‘til night.” People actually say that.

Now think about that for a minute. What kind of life is that? Is that a life worth living? Some people feel it is. America is probably the most extreme example of a speed-driven culture—and this is not my particular personal discovery, but something that has been said to me by many people from other traditional cultures. The first time this was said to me was when I was 19 and I went to Japan. Western people are running from themselves and they use the busy-ness of their lives as an excuse to avoid having to actually live their own life. We are terrified of who we actually are, terrified of the inner space that is the basis of the human experience.

We are actually incapable of being alone—of any work that requires genuine solitude, without entertainment, that requires making a connection with the silence of the inner being. The American family engineers a life in which there is never any time alone, where we never have to actually talk to each other. Even dinnertime is around the TV, at best—or we’re just grabbing something at McDonald’s.

But it’s not the larger culture. It’s actually us. It’s me and it’s you. We load our life up to the point where it’s about to snap…read the rest, if so inspired, here.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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9 Responses to “The Best Article from Elephant Journal in 11 Years.”

  1. occultfan says:

    "Obstacles—which are always with us—are not really obstacles when you work with them in the right way. And we have to work with them." [-] This.

  2. Brooke says:

    Such a fantastic article! I have been saying these things for years.. and I think this is something that our society needs to look at and start changing.

  3. Nicole says:

    Great article!

  4. Linda Lewis Linda V. Lewis says:

    Pooh and Piglet rock!

  5. It's these kinds of reminders that make me daydream of living as an expat. Especially today with the government shutdown. Our society does seem to be "winner take all" now more than ever. I was kind of hoping that the latest economic downturn would cause a greater percentage of us to take stock (pun maybe intended) of what was important in life. People over profits, experiences over stuff, community over self. Sadly, I think we have a little longer to wait.

  6. Tammy says:

    I believe that photo is from The Tao of Pooh….. that book set me on a spiritual path. Great article!!

  7. Gayvenda says:

    Thank you for such an inspiring piece on meditation. I am on a spiritual path and developing awareness. Meditation is awareness.Touching that stillness deep wihtin for 15 minutes a day is vital to my jouney inward to know my Divine. I express that energy into my painting. I have a pet portrait business which I truly enjoy. It is so wonderful to discover your passion and go with the flow. I believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience…

  8. JohnH says:

    "Life emerges out of the silence of our inner being. The life that we have in our mind, …the life that has been constructed out of bits and pieces in our environment—external conditioning, …—is actually not who we are." Waylon, your first sentence so simply points out where most of us trip up on seeking spiritual guidance and compassion. In the Jewish/Christian/Muslim culture we are taught to see god through things outside ourselves such as books, priests, rituals, etc. rather than trusting the Truth within. As you so aptly say, "It’s artificial. It’s unresponsive. It doesn’t reflect the life that we were born to live."

    • FredPickles says:

      I'm one of those foolish Christians who says to look outside of ourselves for Truth. "Life emerges out of the silence of our inner being. The life that we have in our mind, …the life that has been constructed out of bits and pieces in our environment—external conditioning, …—is actually not who we are." What the heck does that mean? It is just some confusing words that have no practical application. When you realize that every human ever born is stupid and ignorant and knows nothing then you may find the Truth of which I am alluding. Believing in yourself gets you a trip to a 6 foot hole in the ground.

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