The Buddha’s last words instructed us to be heedful—to see our actions as important and to keep that importance in mind at all times.
~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu
When you refuse to see and learn from what is going on in your life and the lives of those around you, life gets ever more confusing and complicated. As we lie to ourselves that we can do no wrong and life is great, we miss Life’s lessons and the wisdom we’d gain by paying attention to what is really going on.
This message came to me in the form of a talk by the American Buddhist monk Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu of the Thai Forest Tradition. He talked about how we gain self-esteem from this willingness to learn from everything.
The mythopoeic mindset is about taking the grist of life and turning it into meaning, giving all experience purpose, which allows wisdom to rise from its depths.
I have an avoidant personality. This way of being has indeed made my life more complicated at times. I used my imagination to escape any present situation I didn’t like. But the imagination can be used to help us face the truth of our situation by reframing it and envisioning a deeper meaning to enrich our life story.
These days I am more willing to be present in my life no matter what. But there are still times I wish to escape, and that’s okay as long as I’m aware of what I’m doing.
Are you willing to learn from everything? Are you willing to be fully present in your life? When you are, you’ll find everything you need to not only learn and gain wisdom but create a life of meaning and purpose.
It all begins with being willing.
Learning to Live
Photos used under Creative Commons from h.koppdelaney, Irene Grassi (sun sand & sea), Lulu_Sunset, Maria Eklind, halseike, Kaarina Dillabough, liveoncelivewild, Christof Timmermann, built4love.hain, h.koppdelaney, Marcelo Campi Amateur photographer, sleepyjeanie, Alexandra E Rust