“Being present means living without control and always having your needs meet. For people who are tired of the pain, nothing could be worse than trying to control, what can’t be controlled. If you want real control, drop the illusion of control. Let life live you. It does anyway. You’re just telling yourself a story of how it doesn’t and that’s a story that can never be real. You didn’t make the rain to the sun or the moon. You have no control over your lungs or your heart or your vision or your breath. One minute you are fine and healthy and the next minute you are not. When you try to be safe, you live your life being very very careful, and you may end up having no life at all. Everything is nourishment. I like to say. ‘Don’t be careful, you could hurt yourself’.”*
*Byron Katie excerpted from “A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony With the Way Things Are.”
Yesterday we drove about 300 miles as we did the day before. As I’ve grown older, I find myself being more fearful of traffic. My vision is not as it was in my youth, but I seem to be cautious even when I am not the driver. I sometimes avert my eyes when we get what seems too near a car; I anticipate problems, my adrenaline flows as if I am in danger. Jim drove the whole way. I decided to be fully present to what was occurring. I realized how fear was my “protection”, it takes me away from the reality of the moment. My mind thinks that to meet reality where it is, provokes danger. The joke was that the only danger around was my fear. My fear is like a poison I take to make myself healthy. I got into this reality thing, dropped the fear and looked out with/through awareness. I tuned in with deep curiosity and all of the sudden it was all a miracle. The posts rising from the soil. Consciousness looking out a body and speeding along through space. Wow, the noises, the new images swiftly appearing and disappearing. I cannot say that I remained in this heaven on earth but I can report that heaven is alive on the freeway and it is alive now. This stillness, this peace, is bigger than the noise, the fear, the tractor trailer trucks, the smog, the halting traffic and flashing red, yellow or blue lights. Maybe some enlightened soul named it the HIGH WAY because right in the middle of the chaos, the sizzling asphalt – amidst the clamor of people rushing towards or away from home, rises life, and it is sweet.