Sunday, July 24, 2011

Going to Nirvana

I have a friend who always talks about moving. His answer to everything is to pack up and just go someplace else. All his problems, his issues, and his inner turmoil can be resolved by simply changing his location.

This friend doesn't own a home. He doesn't have a real job, a nagging wife or needy children. There are no pressures placed upon him, no responsibilities, no demands. He is free to do what he wishes. In fact, he has the easiest, most unencumbered life of any one I've ever met. He is gifted, talented, healthy and strong. He has a trade- a good one in which he can earn a very comfortable living if he just would get up and go to work. He lacks motivation. He believes life had dealt him a bad hand so he chooses to sit around all day and night feeling sorry for himself.  He does absolutely nothing. He is depressed. He is miserable. He makes everyone around him miserable. I've never know anyone so disinterested in life or with such a lack of inner peace.

Every so often, he musters up enough passion to discuss relocating. He wants to go someplace else. He believes the reason he has nothing and feels like he is nothing is simply a matter of location. If he were to move down south or closer to where his cousins lived (who are all very successful, by the way), his life will miraculously improve and he will have everything he wants. Every time something goes wrong in his life, he flies into a rage and starts screaming about how much he hates this place. "I am leaving. I am moving. Are you coming with me or not?"

Now I am all for moving. In fact, I've been working on a five year plan- my Nirvana Plan. Part of that plan involves moving down south to be closer to my family. I want a little house near the beach. I talk about it often and I am working very hard now to make those dreams become a reality. I am building my business so I can go anywhere with it and earn a comfortable living. I spend time on the Internet familiarizing myself with the area in which I wish to live. I have a particular place in mind and I travel there often. I keep in contact with a few real estate agents who know exactly what I am looking for.  I am not in a position to move yet, but if the right house appears for the price I can afford, I am willing to buy it now. I want this so badly, I visualize myself sitting on the porch of my future home on cool evenings sipping a glass of wine and gazing at the stars. I can hear the waves crashing in the distance and almost taste the salty air. I know exactly what my house will look like: a little whitewashed cottage with a porch in front, a deck in the back. I see the garden where I will grow flowers and herbs for tea and healing. I can feel the warmth from the fireplace in the living room and smell  bread baking in my cozy little kitchen.

This is my dream. This is my goal BUT ( there's a real big BUT here), I am not fooling myself into believing this is the answer to all my problems. I am dealing with my problems right here, right now, so I can make my dreams a reality. I also know that moving away is going to bring on a whole new set of problems. I want to be ready for those, so I am working on ME.  I am changing my ways of thinking and trying to overcome greed, selfishness, anger and delusion- the things I don't like about myself. I am practicing peace and contentment now, despite the fact that I don't have everything I want. This way, I can take it all with me when I go.

I want what I want so badly I can see, hear, taste, smell, and feel it.  However, if by chance it does not happen for me, I am okay with that. I will be content wherever I am and make the best of what I've got.

Back to my friend. After a few years of listening to him whining, complaining and threatening to move, I grew weary. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I got angry. I was sick and tired of hearing the same thing over and over. I never saw any action on his part to do anything to change his current situation- to look within and change things about himself.  So the next time he discussed moving, I gently took his hand and looked deeply into his eyes.

"You can go anywhere you want. You can escape and leave everything and everyone behind," I said calmly. "Just remember, there is one thing that always comes along and you will never get rid of."

"What's that?" he asked.


He didn't like that. Not at all. In fact, that was the beginning of the end of our friendship. He knew I saw the truth. Most likely, he will never move anywhere else. He just ran out of excuses, people and things to find fault with and his location is the only thing left to blame.

John Kabit-Zinn said it perfectly. "Wherever you go, there you are." He even wrote a book about it.

There is not a city, state, or house on the beach that is going to change things. That's just location. Things might lighten up a bit in different surroundings but eventually, life will return to the way it was. Why? Because YOU are there. If you are not dealing with your problems, issues, fears,  failures, anger, greed, or your lack of motivation right NOW, right where YOU are- a different location will not make it all miraculously disappear. You cannot run from yourself.  Deal with it. Change the things you can, make peace with the things you cannot change.

I often joke that my future beach house is my Nirvana- my place of peace. I do realize however, that if I do not have peace within, I will have chaos despite my gorgeous, peaceful surroundings. My friend is searching for Nirvana, although he does not realize this. He is filled with such inner turmoil but thinks he can resolve everything and find peace by picking up and moving to a different place. The funny thing is, if he truly believed that, he would have moved by now. He will never find what he's searching for until he looks within.

Nirvana is not a place- it's a state of mind. Learn to be peaceful and content in any situation.

Wherever you go, there you are.

And this is my Daily Cyn.........

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