Life is Not a Journey – Alan Watts

“For unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point whatever in making plans for a future which you will never be able to enjoy. When your plans mature, you will still be living for some other future beyond. You will never, never be able to sit back with full contentment and say, ‘Now, I’ve arrived!’ Your entire education has deprived you of this capacity because it was preparing you for the future, instead of showing you how to be alive now.”

Alan Watts

I didn’t want to promote my writing today when there is much more important content to pay attention to. While I didn’t want to post anything extensive, I thought it was a good opportunity to share a message on mindfulness and living in the present.

It’s also an excuse to post about one of my favorite philosophers and speakers: Alan Watts. If you’re not familiar with Watts, he was a British writer and speaker during the 1960s and 70s known for interpreting and popularizing Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism for a Western audience.

I’ve been devouring Watts’ speeches lately, watching his talks that were recreated visually on the After Skool YouTube channel. All of their videos are top-notch and the “stick-drawings” are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Here is a 4 minute video called “Life is not a Journey” to get you started if you’re interested in diving down the rabbit hole (disclaimer on an issue with reading this on desktop: embedded YouTube videos are covering up text below the video so if you want to see all of the text, open the link up on your phone!):

I also wanted to share a reassuring message from my favorite mediation app.

For the third time on this blog, I transcribed the “Moment” feature from Waking Up, the mediation app hosted by neurologist, philosopher, and author Sam Harris. If you’re seeing this, Sam, I hope you’re okay with my copying of it because I love the content. Here is what Sam said for the Moment today:

Meditation is the practice of breaking one’s identification with thought and allowing experience, whether pleasant or unpleasant, to simply be as it is.

So mediation is not something you’re doing really. It’s something you are ceasing to do. You are ceasing to be distracted by thought. Therefore, real mediation is not a form of inwardness. It’s a form of openness. You are simply open to the world and granting it your full attention. 

Right now pick up your head, brighten your gaze, and simply look at the world as if this were the first moment of creation. Because it is.

Sam Harris, Waking Up App

This Moment is super relevant in regards to the last 24 hours for me. I’ve found it really tough to focus on anything else but the election. I needed this reminder to always give whatever I’m doing my full attention – whether it’s work-related or family-related.

Cheers to picking up your head and brightening your gaze,

JB


This was day 23 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge!

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Published by Jonah Baer

Florida State student | Memphis, TN native

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