Media doesn’t have an auraMedia doesn’t have an auraTheme:SummaryDiscussionTranscriptRelated Insights
Wash the dish in the same way as you would do a speech or in the same way you would be with someone, or in the same way you would bathe your child. That is for me, the only thing that matters.Coming
Most media doesn’t have an aura. Every so often you find someone on t.v. who’s a real person. It’s not a presentation. And so even though it’s through media, that medium, you can get some of their light. It’s not the same thing as being up close and personal but you can get some of that. Unfortunately, that’s very rare. Most of what you’re getting is robotic information which is information without a heartbeat. It’s not that those people don’t have a heartbeat, but it’s a presentation. It’s meant to be perfect and so on. And then of course what you’re getting, which you think of as news or something, is just someone else’s opinion. So you don’t have the pleasure of direct experience. That is how we know things by heart, having direct experience. So through media, television and so on, most of the time we don’t get any of that essentialness. We’re missing out, again it’s information that is missing the most important quality of humanity which is the connection.
Being trained as a physician you go to scientific programs and what do they do? They turn out the lights and they put on the slides and most of the people fall asleep in the room. But they’ve gotten all the information out, but it’s just information. There’s no interaction. It’s just one talking head hopefully to someone that’s listening. But there’s no interaction. When there is interaction, as they say it takes two to tango, there is movement on both parts. And that is the essentialness of learning. That is what develops attentiveness and presence and so we have a world that is suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. We don’t want to pay attention, and cannot any longer pay attention because we know it’s not real and we get frustrated and there’s a bottling up and that creates all kinds of hyperactive behavior in human beings which you see on the highways and so on. Thank God I live on Maui, we have less of that but you know you go to Los Angeles/Miami, it’s terrifying. It’s absolutely frightening to go out there.
So for me, because we live in that world, on a practical level, how does one develop their ability to be present, to be attentive? And of course you know in the East they say you meditate, so in the sixties and seventies that became a big thing. People would meditate for 20 minutes and they would have a beautiful experience and shortly after their meditation they’d be back in the real world and bye-bye to meditation. How do you take the meditation into your life? On a practical level, the way this came to me since I had that awareness and I started meditating in 1971 and what became evident to me is all that good meditation time went out the window when I started driving my car, I had to deal with the every day world. So I took my 20 minute meditation and I made it 21 minute meditations and then I made it 40-30 second meditations and I did something simple. I closed my eyes and I imagined my body was just a balloon and I just watched what happened as air moved in and out of my body. That’s all I did and I started with short little periods of time and then I would lengthen it to long periods of time and I developed something that never went away.
I could take it with me, today I still do this in many different ways but then it came to me in another way. My children were very, very young and you met my daughter today who is now 30 so they were very young, and what do they do, they pick things up and something else calls to them so they leave what they’re doing there and so on. As a good parent I would say pick this up or do this and so on. They did it for a moment and then they didn’t do it. So what I did is I used that experience as a real life experience for me and I wrote down a few things and I said anything that enters my awareness, it isn’t there by accident. There’s a reason that some aspect of life calls to me but may not call to you. And then I realized wait a minute, I don’t have to look for life, life is looking for me all the time. What will it be if the garbage can is full or the water in the sink is dripping or there’s a dish, whatever. So every time something came into my awareness I realized it was my responsibility.
Not to sound religious but I really felt God was giving me that and you know you can’t selectively be honest. I can’t pretend that I see in one instance and not see in the other. And so I realized anything that enters my awareness becomes my responsibility. Anything that’s my responsibility I make contact with and anything I make contact with I complete. So for a week I did this experiment, this was maybe the late 70’s early 80’s, I don’t remember, and it started out if I saw the garbage can full, I took it down stairs even though the trash wasn’t coming until two days later, I completed the job. The dishes were never left in the sink. The dishes were dried and cleaned and put away.
The bills were always paid the day they came in. Now you could say well that’s really over the top, but I have to tell you something, in the process of that practice I came to realize that I didn’t miss anything and it gave me such a beautiful sense of nothing is passing me by. And what came from that wasn’t that my success would be in the outer world, but my real successes were completing each of those little tasks in each moment and that allowed me to not only sleep quietly at night and have a really wonderful nights’ rest, but to realize that at any moment if I died, everything was finished. There wasn’t anything left undone, whether it was the communication of I love you or I feel a certain way or making sure someone was paid or saying thank you, whatever it was, that’s my life right now. That is my meditation. That is my practice of presence. That is my practice of attention. And for me, that I think is a beautiful thing to, if possible, to instill with children. To practice this connectedness, not just with each other, but with everything. Wash the dish in the same way as you would do a speech or in the same way you would be with someone, or in the same way you would bathe your child. That is for me, the only thing that matters.Coming