“The existence, the physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. That is to say, it doesn’t have some destination that it ought to arrive at.” ~ Alan Watts
This video is a gift.
The imagery may be a little over-the-top, but the wise words, adorable British accent and candid tone of Zen teacher Alan Watts are well worth four-and-a-half minutes of your day.
His basic message is that our cultural conditioning and standardized system of “education” keeps us in a rat race. From kindergarten to high school, university to graduate school, to career promotions to…retirement in old age.
These nonstop messages ring in our ears and are the foundation of North American culture: Achieve, achieve, achieve! Win! Don’t be a loser! Man up!
The good news is that we can choose to step off the hamster wheel at any time.
We can choose to slow down, to quit overscheduling ourselves (and our children), to quit working for the weekend. We can choose to sit, drink a cup of tea and do nothing else. We can choose to silence our devices and let our minds’ endless chatter settle down for a change.
We can choose to leave a soul-sucking school, relationship or job in favor of pursuing our passions.
We can choose—and this choice is a privilege.
It’s neither easy nor automatic, but making the choice, taking the vow to move toward a slower-paced, more meaningful, heartful and mindful life can start to affect us today—right now—in the most amazing of ways.
Your life is not a journey—and it is a journey. The path is the goal. There is no “there.” It’s right here and now, and nowhere else, and at no other time than this.
So quit scrolling, quit searching, quit seeking, quit criticizing, quit worrying. Quit living exclusively in the past and the future.
Take a deep breath. You are here. You are present. Simply sit, stand, walk, listen, look…and soon you’ll see.
Here is the beginning of the transcript from the video, which I urge you to watch and share with everyone you know:
“Music, as an art form is essentially playful. We say, “You play the piano” You don’t work the piano.
Why? Music differs from say, travel. When you travel you are trying to get somewhere. In music, though, one doesn’t make the end of the composition. The point of the composition. If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest. And there would be composers who only wrote finales. People would go to a concert just to hear one crackling chord… Because that’s the end!
Same way with dancing. You don’t aim at a particular spot in the room because that’s where you will arrive. The whole point of the dancing is the dance.” ~ Alan Watts
Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina