When I studied Practical Philosophy for 3 years the words BE HERE NOW were repeated over and over. There was a very simple reason why these three little words became my mantra.
In the chaos of the modern world, there is a beauty in simply doing.
We’re buffeted wildly by whatever emails, conversations, news, events, demands, that are going on around us.
Our minds become a constant deluge of thoughts dwelling in the past, worries of the future, distractions pulling us in every direction.
But all of that melts away when we focus on just doing.
It doesn’t matter what the doing is: sitting, walking, writing, reading, eating, washing, talking, snuggling, playing.
By focusing on the doing, we drop our worries and anxieties, jealousies and anger, grieving and distraction.
There is something profound in that simplicity. Something ultimately heart-rendingly breath-takingly gorgeous.
So when you are caught up in the sandstorm of thoughts, feelings, to-dos, meetings, readings and communications.
Pause. Breathe. Let all of that fade.
Now focus on doing one thing, right now. Just choose one thing, and clear away all other distractions.
Seriously, clear it all away. Turn off your Internet. Stop reading this article (OK, read a couple more sentences, then close your browser!).
Let all thoughts about anything other than the doing also fade away. They’ll come up, but gently make note of them, and then let them go. And return to the doing.
If you’re washing a dish, do it slowly, and feel every sensation. If you’re eating a fruit, taste it, feel the textures, be mindful of your hunger or lack of it. If you’re writing something, pour your heart into that writing, become the writing, inhabit the words.
The rest of the world becomes meaningless distraction. It’s just you, and your doing.
And you realize: this is all that matters. In this, there is everything.
"Before enlightenment - chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment - chop wood, carry water".
~Zen Buddhist Proverb
This sign caught my eye when I was walking in Paddington, Sydney today - 7th August 2011.