Aw-ww, Bert, if you disagreed would you have posted it?
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Because people use language to either reveal or conceal, when I see prose like that, I sometimes replace second person or plural pronouns (you, your) with first person singular pronouns (I, my). Kornfield’s passage would read
My breath, my heartbeats, my thoughts all arise as pulsing waves. I see... et cetera.
Many people do physical exercise. Not so many people do emotional exercise. Or maybe I’m a narcissist.
OK, Tom, let's do it:
"My breath, my heartbeat, my thoughts all arise as pulsing waves. I see that there is nothing solid, nothing static, nothing steady that goes from one year to the next, one month to the next, one moment to the next. The mind-body is a flux of constant creation and dissolution. There is no possibility of holding on, although sometimes I try very hard to do so. When I experience this process of change in a very immediate and intimate way, I realize that who I am is the ever-changing waves, and the fear of death begins to dissolve because I see that there never has been anything solid or permanent. I no longer consider death some kind of failure, apart from the natural order of things. I can be more at peace."
~Jack Kornfield, modified
My agreement plus $5.41 will buy you a latte at my favorite coffee shop.
I took a seminar with Jack Kornfield. His ideas offer worthy action plans.
Obviously, the difference in individual's personal situations is quite important. I'm 84, have COPD, and really expect to croak sooner rather than later. Am I afraid? No. Am I pleased? No. What can I do about it? Actually, not much. Altho I have 2 step-daughters that live close by, I live alone and benefit from not feeling any obligation to anyone else, or, to a beloved pet. What can I realistically do every waking moment to maximize my 'happiness', 'contentment', 'pleasure', etc.? Up until about a week or two ago, I pursued my hobby---my fun---of learning to play the piano. However, since my breathing difficulties escalated palpably during that period of time, it's hard to feel the "fun" part when I don't feel as "good" physicially as I did as recently as just a few weeks back. Whatever. Unfortunately, my pulmonary care Dr. isn't going to be available for a couple of weeks. So, unless I find myself on the way to the local ER---which I have no interest in doing---I'm just waiting this out. Returning to your question, all I can think of to do to maximize my state of mind every waking moment, is whatever I am able to think of to do to maximize my state of mind at that moment. Sometimes I choose to "do it" and other times I don't. However, since that inaction is of my own choosing, I have no one else to blame. I realize that this lengthy paragraph is "me, me, me", but, possibly it will point you in a helpful direction. If not, you're no worse off than you were b4 you read it. :) Sometimes I simply can't think of anything to make me feel better at that moment. However, that period of time seems to pass too and some subsequent state of things is "better" than the one b4 it. Another 'whatever'.
Keith G. I will be 83 in January and I hope I don't live through another year. Joints rub bone upon bone, I don't know where "up" is, and the ground becomes a familiar friend. When I fall, yet another time, I contemplate just laying there and letting the worms start their work. Given all that, I feel so fortunate to have lived and loved and lingered as long as I have. Little joys become huge ones and another day, month, year, whatever works for me.