Is That Not Enough?

This was first posted late December 2009 and links in with yesterdays post, ‘Everybody has to be somewhere’.   (There were a lot of good comments added to this post by the way.)

1_Tree_above_ambleside.jpg
Taken on a sunny afternoon above Ambleside in the Lake District while on a walk.
 For most of my early adult life I looked for a purpose. A purpose to life, for living. Returning after my first retreat here at Throssel it occurred to me that I didn’t need to think about having a purpose any more. It was not that I had found a purpose. I did however wonder if I had and what it might be but nothing came to mind. No it was simply that I didn’t need to concern myself about a purpose for living any more. It was such a relief.

We hear of people in extremity who derive meaning, or purpose to live from simple things. For example I heard of a girl in a concentration camp who left behind, for she died in the camp, a diary. In it she recorded how each day she glimpsed a tree and it was this tree that kept her going and gave meaning to remaining alive.

Another story is of a Korean woman incarcerated for something she had not done. Each day the guards would take her out and beat and abuse her. Each day she did her walking and sitting meditation and, she wrote, I am free!

What is it that sets us free to simply live? Free as the tree to spread its branches and send its roots deep into the earth. To have our leaves turn brown in autumn and fall off and then to bud and blossom when the sun warms us. We are not plants, we are however filled with life. Is that not enough?

An after thought. At a certain time when I was almost at the end of reasonable life options I met a person who must have seen something in me. Anyway, he most seriously advised me to learn to meditate. And I couldn’t but take notice of him, he was in earnest. I distinctly remember him saying, It doesn’t matter where you do that, under a tree for example! So there you have it a link between trees and meditation

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11 thoughts on “Is That Not Enough?”

  1. Thanks for this, Reverend Mugo. I’ve had brief moments like that where I simply found myself “here” with no need to get anything else out of the moment, and no desire to get beyond it to something else. Then I get caught up again in a life directed towards this goal and that goal, and how easy it is to forget those moments.

  2. Rev. Mugo,
    and a late merry christmas and early happy new year to you and your readers.
    Today was my first day to check your blog this month and i am glad i did.
    beautiful photo, beautiful tree, beautiful thoughts, beautiful words.
    I had a very long night and morning flying back and forth across the USA.
    On my return flight home, i took a few photos of the clouds and some snowy landscape and thought how lucky i am to be able to see such sights but also how lucky i am to be able…to see such sights.

  3. So much to thank you for this year. Your words in this post are an answer to a question that came to me while sitting tonight. (Another coincidence?) I’m still a bit lost (a lot lost) in the “how-to” of it all, but still, this helps.

    Love the video. It’s like you were here (or I was there). Fluent, real, and charming. Good job!

    Best wishes for the season, Rev. Mugo

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Dear Tom,
    I think it takes a great deal of effort to attempt to be somewhere other than where one is; here. It is so tiring too, trying to be. And I don’t think it is actually _possible_ to be anywhere other than where one is. One can be in a very _narrowed down_ version of here, for sure. We call that focusing don’t we? We teach kids to do that when they are ‘all over the place’. Perhaps we can’t handle kids being ‘everywhere at once’, it’s certainly a trial from my experience. I see the ‘every where at once’ thing you see in kids, and in oneself too from time to time, as competing goals/desires/needs. You could view that ‘state’ as being like (internally) one of those snow globes, ‘all shook up, (let’s here it for Elvis!) and eventually the snow settles and the shookupness subsides. Hopefully the ‘competition’ then stands in a neat line; given half a chance.

    Anyway we are having snow, lots of it. Reminds me of looking out of the priory window in Edmonton, and lovin’ it. Not so sub zero tho.

    I question myself about the actual necessity of this over focusing, ‘goaling’ kinda way. Does it make the words come out better or faster for a goal, deadline or ‘what ever’ shaking it’s fist in that menacing way?

  5. Now Kevin is this LAX or SFO you fly out of and into? South Bay had me wondering about that.

    Love to hear about you up in the clouds and actually seeing them. In your line of work I can imagine clouds out of the window, for most, are a so so kind of a sight.

    Lots of snow here still, and more on the way. Glad you still check in on Jade. I love this rash/rush of comments because it makes for a community feel here infront of the screen. Perhaps comments from all around the world, as they have been, helps to engender a more expanded view. That is, our world, our own personal little world is very much part of the ‘limitless sky’.

  6. Michael, I am SO glad you saw the video. Your using the word ‘fluent’ is high praise coming from you, with your professional background in speach. So thanks so much for dropping by and leaving this comment.

    Yes, we do seem to have a bit of a coincidence thing going don’t we, been going for ages me thinks. Distance makes not a bit of difference in terms of ‘keying in’ to ‘that which one keys into’. As for the ‘how to’? Was that how to be alive by any chance? Not being funny here by the way. It is our nature to be alive, to be ‘human beings’, we don’t need to work at it really. Do we? If I get you wrong about the ‘how to’ then drop me an email and we can talk about it some more.

    I saw a Jade reader today and he gave me a great quote, which I’ve already garbled in my mind. Help me out D. It was about trying to be somebody else…was it ‘that’s already taken’?!

  7. Hello
    What a pleasure it is to be less lost, out on a limb when my focus is stuck on a thing thats a bit alian but seems all I know just at that time.
    Talking…hearing about clouds, about a green tree and fungi
    brings me home again – that is less lost.

    My Xmas present was this lap top
    a hand in the sky
    that I can now hold with pleasure. Hi.

  8. Dear Penny,

    I love this comment. Thank you. I have just been out taking photographs, and a video, of the sky and duvet covered land here in Northumberland. White ‘n grey and all shades of blue to almost navy. monochrome in places.

    Your comment moved me on to posting these minimalist images. Thank you. Your ‘hand in the sky’ has already taken a real and valued place. Where ever you are in this big wide world – HAPPY NEW YEAR! And the same to all who read this.

  9. I’m not sure I know what I mean, but your response does make it a little clearer. I love the idea of being one’s self. I’m amazed at the lengths to which I’ve gone to be who I think I should be when I was “me” all along. Ha!

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