Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wednesday, June 7: A Unified Approach to Improvement, an awake life and happiness

Some people want to improve their physical abilities. They want to get better at golf or running or tennis or skiing or yoga or dancing. Or, they want to be healthier and more fit, sick less or never and stronger. This book is for those people.

Other people want to be happier. They have glimpsed that the “pursuit of happiness” is a bit of a sham, that waiting until the vacation comes around or the end of the workday, or the weekend, leaves an awfully large chunk of their life not in happiness, and they are wondering and yearning for happiness to fill more, if not all, of their moments, though it often sounds like heresy indeed to speak of an ongoing happiness. For those who glimpse this possibility and dare to wish it for themselves, this book is also intended.

Others want to connect with more of who they “really are.” They may be more or less certain whatever the heck this means, but they have a sense that they are more of their “real selves,” when they are out in nature, rather than stuck inside four walls, that they are more connected t themselves when walking outside than when driving in some metal and plastic compartment. They sense an out of balance-ness in our whole human relationship to nature, and wish to begin to get far more into balance. This book is for these people.

Some feel this out of balance-ness with nature as an out of connectivity with their own bodies. This could be the same as the first group, the tennis players and runners, but it could be people who’ve just had a heart attack or a deep sickness, or just a moment of realization that, “Hey, it doesn’t feel great to be me inside my skin moving around any more.” They look at children, running around, skipping, rolling, having a good time and don’t repress the common and deep wish to be mobile and free as they were when they were a child. This book is for these people, too.

There are those who feel a bit lost in their lives, who wish they were more clear on what they really want to do with their lives. Or those who want to be better at learning some new skills that aren’t necessarily physical. They want to be sharper mentally, and more quick in their learn, and more open minded and flexible in their thinking. They glimpse that they seem to think the same thoughts about the same things over and over and notice a certain stuckness and staleness to this. They want to return to a childlike sense of wonder and discovery about life and all its possibilities. This book is for those people.

And finally, this book is for those who have glimpsed and tasted the marvelous difference between being in the present and being in the trancelike state in which most of us spend most of our minutes and hours. Satisfying as our lives may be, if we aren’t in the present, if we aren’t there to distinguish our lives as they are actually occurring, we are not really appreciative and connected to our own life. It is happening to us. We can recite a history of our accomplishments and send out a Christmas letter full of things we’ve done and places we’ve been, but as far as being in the moment when our children are speaking to us, or when we are talking with our mate, or when we are opening a door, or when we are walking across a room or in a park, we are missing in action, as it were. This ongoing trance is so pervasive and there is so much agreement on the busy-ness and disconnectedness in our lives, that this is often almost another heresy, to suggest that we could live each moment in the moment, experiencing each moment as rich and full. This book is for those of us excited about this possibility of waking to each and every moment.


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