You are a spiritual being
Having a human experience
But don’t ignore the fact
That you are in a body
A wonderful one at that
Are you going to take it for granted?
Are you going to overlook the vessel you inhabit?
Are you going to neglect the flesh?
Make the most of it
While it lasts
Embrace the experience
Savor the voyage
Make an impact
Be totally aware
Immersed in the world
Yet not of it
In the wonders of corporeality
The pleasures and pains
The smirk-inducing, physical bliss
Is experiencing itself
For the opportunity
To taste coffee
To flex a bicep
To have amazing sex
To do whatever it is
You’re doing right now
Cherish this video game
Become lucid in the dream
Before it’s over
For life is euphorically fleeting
And meant to be
I just got back from a nice lil vacation in Cabo, Mexico. It was awesome, and I’m incredibly grateful for the experience.
Every minute was amazing, but one moment in particular stands out to me.
A moment in which my existence was that of pure action. Of complete and utter presence.
I was walking along a rocky part of the beach where the waves were strong. Just minding my own business and admiring the scenery. Then suddenly, my brother (screaming my name) pierced my eardrums like a fire alarm. “STEPHEN! STEPHEN!!!” He left the bag of snorkel gear we rented on a rock too close to the water. I jerked my vision towards the bag and saw a powerful wave swallow it, pulling it out to sea. After hearing my brother and seeing the bag, my thoughts ceased to exist. I got completely in the zone. And I took action. Without even the slightest bit of hesitation, I bounded across a few rocks and leapt into the water. As soon as I grabbed the bag, a wave completely engulfed me. It threw me against the rocks, spinning me like a rag doll and flipping my sandals off. But I clung to the bag. After the wave returned to sea, there I was. Standing there unharmed (yeah, the wave literally stood me up) with all the stuff. Snorkel gear, sandals, and all. Then my thoughts returned.
What an amazing state of existence that was. One that I’ve only glimpsed a small handful of times in my life.
No thinking. Just doing. Just being. Existing in pure action. I temporarily transcended the circle of incessant thought that relentlessly persists throughout the course of our lives.
That’s the goal of meditation too. A state of no-thought.
Being in pure action is truly living.
And we encounter these awe-inspiring flashes in some other situations as well:
Being “in the zone” while playing sports.
Being “in the zone” while working out.
Being immersed in any sort of artistry. (Making music, painting, writing…etc)
Life threatening situations. You don’t think when you save someone’s life (or your own), you just do.
How to exist in pure action more often:
Break free of incessant thought. Be aware of your thoughts. Recognize when your mind is running in circles and learn how to chill out. Learn to be the master of your mind, not a slave to it. Different strategies work for different people in attaining this.
Get used to taking action. Don’t procrastinate. Walk the walk. Live an action-based life, not a passive one. It makes life wayyy more interesting.
This calls for a couple quotes:
“Action expresses priorities.” -Gandhi“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Do those 2 things and situations will inevitably present themselves. And when they do, believe me, you’ll know how to handle it…
In mainstream Western society today, the keywords surrounding someone deemed as “spiritual” look something like this:
Emotional, feminine, hippy, vegetarian, vegan, yoga, meditation, tea, psychic, tofu, soy milk, passive, positive, pacifist, unique, in tuned, dreamer, unrealistic, out there, creative, artistic, New Age, free spirit…etc.
You get the idea.
Though some of these are great attributes, it paints the overall picture of something like an unemployed hippy chick with no sense of reality. Or a frail, overemotional man who lacks strength and vitality.
Is that not the stereotypical image that is conjured up when someone is described as “spiritual” in mainstream culture?
Well, fuck that (you gotta emphasize things sometimes haha). Let’s shift the paradigm.
Shatter those preconceived notions. Actually, shatter all preconceived notions. They do nothing but put the world you perceive in rigid little boxes. Don’t attach to a preconceived image of what something should be or look like.
But, before we go further, what is “spiritual”?
My definition of spiritual is being aware.
Being… Being in the moment… Simply being. And awareness… Being aware of the tranquil stillness deep inside… Being aware of infinite potential… Being aware.
Here’s another sign post pointing down the road of spirituality, courtesy of Bruce Lee. This is one of my favorite quotes of all-time.
A spiritual person doesn’t have to do yoga. A spiritual person can achieve the same body/mind connection by deadlifting the weight of a small car.
A spiritual person doesn’t have to sit cross-legged and meditate. A spiritual person can use any activity as meditation.
A spiritual person doesn’t have to be a vegetarian. A spiritual person can thank the animal that gave it’s life to provide sustenance for another being.
A spiritual person doesn’t have to be passive. A spiritual person can live through action!
So don’t judge anyone. And don’t judge yourself either.
DON’T PUT OTHERS, OR YOURSELF, IN A BOX.
Just because you’re a guy doesn’t mean you can’t express your emotions.
Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you can’t be strong (physically and mentally).
Just because you’re a trucker doesn’t mean you can’t meditate.
Just because you look like you can pin a grizzly bear in a wrestling match doesn’t mean you can’t be spiritual.
Just because you work in the cubicle farms of the corporate world doesn’t mean you can’t be spiritual.
But, then again, we’re all spiritual beings anyway.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -Teilhard de Chardin