Normally we are looking through the lens of our prejudices and needs, through past regrets or future hopes, but without these we find each moment is infused with uniqueness, that everything is constantly fresh, new and unknown.
When we met with the Dalai Lama he was standing on his veranda overlooking the beautiful Himalayan Mountain range, smiling and waving for us to come. We went to bow as is the tradition, but he lifted us, took our hands, and said: "We are all equal here."
How many of us have traveled the path away from ourselves to successfully return only once tragedy or crisis has struck? How much time have the dreams and passions you were born with spent on a shelf, untouched and gathering dust?
I do know that awareness can be taught, it can be learned, it can be discovered, but I'm not sure that it can ever be arrived at. In other words, it's a gradual unpeeling where you never get to the core.
His light-heartedness, which we so enjoyed, lingered even after he had left. It was marked by a great sense of mindfulness and presence, exemplified in the way he would clean the dishes after a meal. Maitreya remarked: "Yeah, it's like the world is at ease when he washes the dishes."
To fuel our highest level performance we need a clear mind. If the mind is filled with fear, self-sabotaging beliefs, and self-doubt, we are impeded, a bit like driving a car with the brake on. Emotional turmoil clouds our view and we cannot perform well.
Qualities such as kindness, compassion, and forgiveness are the seeds we want to plant to cultivate a beautiful garden. But the self-centered ego's need for grasping, gaining, and selfishness easily buries them.
Wise spiritual teachers from all traditions have taught how the path of service is the most important of all, as it means we are less self-obsessed; through caring for others we can step out of indulgence and into big-heartedness, releasing any sense of separateness.
We are all incredibly busy. But, Emerson's quote reminds me that "busyness" alone will never bring us the success of which he speaks. In fact, I'm starting to understand that a life based solely on "busyness" risks the opposite of success.
Today, the popular idea that our devices should fade into the background -- exemplified by Google's aim to get technology 'out of the way' via its Google Glass -- is alarming. If technology becomes invisible to us, we risk losing sight of how it shapes us, for good and for ill.
Deepak is definitely helping to create a wiser and more compassionate world through his teaching. He has what the Tibetans call ding. This is similar to confidence but more of a deep inner unshakeable confidence when you are comfortable in your own skin.
The simple truth is this: Our self-concept is our destiny. So if we want to change our destiny for the better, we need to change our concept and beliefs about our selves also for the better. We always have the freedom to choose better thoughts.
Trying to eradicate anger is like trying to box with our own shadow: It doesn't work. Getting rid of it implies either expressing it and creating untold emotional damage, denying its existence, or repressing it until it erupts at a later time.
Whether it is the internal or external sense of being "maxed out," what is often helpful is to seek a larger landscape in which to hold one's experience. This is not only a skillful means of coping with difficulty, but it is also an aspect of mindfulness and awareness.
You may want to do just one of these exercises or try them all. Just like anything, the key to building your awareness and present moment consciousness is consistency. The more you do these exercises, the more you will be able to harness the unlimited potential that this moment is offering.
Today is a very special day. It has never happened before and it will never happen again. And we have no idea what will come next. What a great day just to be here. To show up now. The perfect day to let the past rest where it is and let the future take care of itself.