As you study the way in which your mind works, the way in which a concentrated mind deals with the world, as opposed to a diffused mind, then you see the way in which this lack of being able to be at the office when you’re at the office, or at home when you’re at home, reduces your effectiveness in each of them.
I notice that there was a stage where I was always ‘time binding’- when I was here with you, I was anticipating the fact that Saturday I’ll be at the temple, Sunday I’ll be flying to California, Monday I’ll be with ‘Creating our Future,’ and then I’ll be in Europe… I mean, it was all real in the moment, and I constantly had to sequence the ‘where I came from’ with the ‘where I was going’ in my mind… so I was always planning and anticipating.
What’s changed now is that much more of the time, I mean I’m a long way from being cooked, but much more of the time, when I am ‘here,’ this is it, I am here, and when I’m not here, I’m not here. It’s interesting how when you give another human being, your family, or your business, the fullness of your being at any moment, a little is enough; while when you give them half of it, because you’re time binding with your mind, there’s never enough. You begin to hear the secret, that being fully in the present moment is the greatest gift you can give to each situation.
When I’m waking up, going to the bathroom, and I meet somebody on the path, and they say, “Have you got a minute?” I probably have a minute, so I say “Yeh.” I turn to them and in that moment and I’m no longer somebody going to the bathroom- I’m somebody listening to their question. I’m just right there, and that takes me less time to deal with that thing fully. I hear them fully and they hear me hearing them, and we do the communication. I don’t hold to, “Yeh, sure, but I’m always thinking about going to the bathroom, while I’m listening to the question.”
It’s taken me awhile to learn that if I’m gonna offer the gift of my being, it means offering the fullness of the moment we are in.
The feeling that you’re not doing enough at home while you’re at work turns into ‘you don’t do enough at work’ and ‘you don’t do enough at home,’ while if you work fully when you are in either place, then that is standing back enough in that awareness to see the the pieces of your life and see what you are really working on. I look at one of those little planners and I see that I have these things to do, that I’ve got my relationships, I’ve got retreats, I see that I have to rest, I see the sort of pattern of my life. Then I can look at it all and think, “Do they create a life, first of all, that is fulfilling my unique opportunities in the universe? Am I understanding each of them as part of my spiritual path? What do I want to phase out, what do I want to keep?”
I stand back and I get a feeling of the design of my life, and once I’m at peace with the design of my life, then when I’m at each thing, the other part of me that’s already stood back and seen the design of it is also at peace, and then I can fully be in the thing I’m in.
– Ram Dass
Photo by Peter Simon