I hope the summer isn’t treating you too bad given what’s happening in the world. I have been missing writing here so here I am.
I listened to a guided meditation by Alan Watts where he explains that breathing happens naturally (whether you want it or not you’re going to breathe) but can also be voluntary (as when you consciously decide to take a deep breath or do breath work).
It is so obvious but also a metaphor for life.
You can look at all the events in your life as something that just happen regardless of what you do or look at these events only from the perspective of your actions.
“Everything is just happening and all you are doing is watching it” - as you allow your breath to breathe the way it wants to breathe.
You say “I breathe” as a thing I am doing it voluntary
But also when you are not thinking about breathing it goes on without you. Breathing can be voluntary and at the same time happening to me unconsciously.
Differences between what we do on the one hand and what happens to us are arbitrary.
Am I really doing everything that happens to me or is it just happening no matter what?
Both things are true.
How much should I decide to do or change in my life versus just letting it happen and flow?
If you let your breath happen you will notice that without making any effort you can breathe more and more deeply after a while.
Is it the same with life? The less I try to control it the better it will be? What’s the limit of not making decisions and letting things happen?
Don’t worry about the future or the progress you’re making, just be aware of “what is” and let it happen.
This is the ultimate meditation state for Alan.
Nice to have you back on writing 🙏 That is a very exciting question. Undoubtedly, we believe too much in the influence of our decisions on the results. (The new book by Kahnemnn NOISE makes this very clear.) But is it really worth striving for nothing? That includes the positive changes we urgently need in the world. Or is it the way to direct one's energy in the "right" direction and then be free of expectations about the outcome? At least this is how I understand the Zen saying: "When you know the goal, only the way counts.“ Because in the end you are exactly where you are need to be.And then the breath can flow freely... I would be interested in what you think...