November 4, 2016

Why Life is Not a Journey. {Powerful Video}

screenshot: https://vimeo.com/176370337

“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

Image: screenshot

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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Ceci Trigos Oct 19, 2017 1:58pm

Thank you Michelle, this is sooooo inspiring, I looove Alan Watts and I think he was so on top of it regarding every day life. I´ve heard so many of his lectures and have often wanted to share his amazing insight with his studies in theology and philosophy. This is a amazing article.

Jaime Torres Nov 20, 2016 6:17pm

Thank you

Michelle Margaret Nov 6, 2016 2:04pm

Thank you! Awesome! Sent you a PM. :)

Michelle Margaret Nov 6, 2016 1:57pm

I'm glad it resonated, Patricia!

Pat Perrier Nov 5, 2016 10:22pm

This is how I feel. Like I was "supposed" to be dancing and singing -- but I've been on the "dreadmill" of school, work, work, work, work for some mythical some-day retirement. And I'm tired. And I'm feeling ... I don't know what. But I'm feeling it. Thank you.

Khara-Jade Warren Nov 5, 2016 9:02pm

Omg Michelle Margaret this is everything, everything I've come to understand in my bones over the past few years. It is precisely the reason my husband and I are selling and packing up everything for a little motorhome and an adventure across Europe with our boys. I just can't watch my eldest son struggle with having to sit still in a classroom his whole childhood for what? I know there is a better way. Thank you for sharing. The imagery is from this movie, The Tree of Life.

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom.

She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010 and has self-published inspiring books. She incorporates dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting and pranayama into her teachings and practice. A former advertising copywriter and elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer and translator. Michelle learned yoga from a book at age 12 and started teaching at 22. She met the Buddha in California at 23 and has been a student of the dharma ever since. Michelle is now approaching her forties with grace and gratitude.

Join Michelle for a writing and yoga retreat this summer at magical Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala!