Life includes experiences we want and ones we don't. We are better at being present in the ones we want, and we need more practice staying in the moments we don't want. Many people ask me why we would even try and be present in the bad moments.
Ours is a society obsessed with FOMO. And yet, many of us miss out on the most important thing of all, our own life. Seems we ought to be worrying less about missing the next party and more about missing existence.
Something amazing happened on this holiday. It seems that all the years of spiritual practice kind of kicked in. When I stopped judging myself for the experience I was having, stopped hating myself for hating vacation, I discovered two wonderful things: humor and compassion.
The next time the opportunity to know another's experience presents itself, try out what it feels like to listen without strategizing to keep yourself positively positioned -- without defending the story of who you are and what you have or have not done.
It takes a tremendous amount of effort to uphold a fixed identity. We have to keep doing things that a "person like us" would do. We have to keep making sure that nothing happens that threatens our identity or who we have decided "we are."
There are consequences to our belief that we need to do something to get to happy, to now, and to the place where we can finally stop trying to get anywhere. For one thing, any happiness we achieve this way will be a temporary fix.
As Master Wuzhu puts it: "When there is true no-thought, no-thought itself is not." This "formless practice" immediately makes the everyday challenge of making distinctions and choices even more challenging.