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The Art Of Just Being

12/07/2011

in Uncategorized

“We were born into a world in which things were ready to our hands. It is we who have made everything difficult to come by through our disdain for what is easily come by.” Seneca

It was my 15th day of living in the wild. We had just finished learning how to process animals and had eaten our fill of grass-fed, freshly prepared sheep meat. While feasting for a couple of days after two weeks of hiking 15 miles a day with almost no food, we spent a bit of time preparing rations that were meant to last us through the 4-day, 60-mile hike that followed. We prepared pinole, a traditional Native American mixture of ground corn, barley, and sunflower seeds.

We left camp with our bag of pinole on a strictly uphill course, with our heavy blanketpacks astow, following the beautiful canyon ridges and washes. Six hours later, we all sat down for a ten minute break to rest and enjoy a bit of our pinole.

And then I looked into my pack.

NO

My pinole — my entire food supply for four days — had fallen out ON DAY 1. We had already hiked ten miles and it was hopeless–I had no chance of finding my lost rations.

Today, as I read my journal entries from the trip, I can still feel the powerful emotions that ran through my mind over the next few days. Painful hunger. Bitterness at my fellow hikers for not sharing their rations with me. Thoughts of quitting, of returning to civilization and grabbing a burger.

The only thing I wasn’t doing was living in the moment. My mind was constantly elsewhere—I wasn’t just being.

Finally, my mind shifted to my stoic training: I accepted the situation as it was. I recognized that things come and go, and eventually I would eat again. I finally began to live in the moment.

And then they caught my eye.

Rosehips Everywhere

Red, ripe rosehips. Bushels of them. As far as the eye could see. We were walking through a veritable forest of culinary delights.

My eyes were blind to the delicious berries that lay before me because my mind wasn’t in the moment. I starved myself for days without even glancing at what nature could provide.

So take a moment, right now. Breathe. Meditate for ten minutes. Are you living in the now? Or are you constantly distracted, always thinking about what’s next?

You might just find a new world, right before your eyes.

{ 6 comments… }

Denise August 1, 2013 at 9:19 am

Thanks, Maneesh! This reminds me of a favorite verse:Matthew 6:25-34
New International Version (NIV)
Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
YOU ARE SO INSPIRING!

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David July 20, 2013 at 3:13 am

This reminds me of a quote from an awesome book called Flight of the Feathered Serpent that goes ‘The most important thing for man is just to be. Man is, everything else he has is by addition.’

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Matheus January 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Just being in the moment really is an art, and when you practice it and live it, you feel joy and grace regardless of your circumstances. I am talking from my experiences also.
Thanks for writing this article !!
cheers

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Dilanka Wettewa December 9, 2011 at 10:19 am

Awesome anecdote about re-connecting with the “Now”. Hard to do, but a lot less stressful when learned how to.

Thanks Maneesh.
Dilanka

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Jimmy Soto December 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Great post Maneesh. Thanks.

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Manny Melgoza December 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I’m guilty of often thinking about tomorrow and the future. I should take a lesson here, and try my best to start living in the moment more often. Thanks Maneesh! Cool story, that’s some good training right there!

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