Never mind Everest

18 04 2012

‘Tell me, why do we require a trip to Mount Everest in order to be able to perceive one moment of reality? I mean… I mean, is Mount Everest more “real” than New York? I mean, isn’t New York “real”? I mean, you see, I think if you could become fully aware of what existed in the cigar store next door to this restaurant, I think it would just blow your brains out! I mean… I mean, isn’t there just as much “reality” to be perceived in the cigar store as there is on Mount Everest?’

This quote from Wally Shawn in My Dinner With Andre pretty much sums up what happens when one starts practicing mindfulness. That’s the Buddhist discipline of being minutely aware of what’s happening around you. You begin to realize just how complex the simple act of walking is. You start to notice the richness of experience in every waking moment.

To paraphrase, if you could understand absolutely everything that is happening in the one square foot of ground just to the left of your back step, it would blow your mind.

Stop the breakneck rush trying to get somewhere and just be where you are. Focus your mind on it and try to notice absolutely everything that’s going on, inside and outside, just now.

That’s reality.

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