Published: March 13th 2011March 13th 2011
Some days you look forward. Some days you look backwards. Some moments you are present. When you look forward it means you are not present to this moment. You are thinking about the future. When you look backwards it means you are not present to this moment. You are thinking about the past. Anguish lives freely in you when you live in the past or the future. There is little anguish in the present.
People try to teach this. Certainly Buddha did along with the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Werner Erhard; others. Why do enlightened people have such silly names? Somehow enlightenment is still so rare that some people can earn a living by helping other people be present. It seems that it should be taught in school. Werner Erhard (and others) seems to have figured out a process to force people into the present; kicking and screaming. Tolle seems to describe how to recapture enlightenment if you get lost along the way. Tolle runs sort of an online graduate school for the living enlightened. I am not so sure Tolle’s teaching could have forced me into the present in the first place. He probably would have just annoyed me.
I needed Erhard to get there in the first place. But once your light goes on, Tolle seems more interesting to spend time with. I love his online videos. Erhard's work seems a little condescending once you are enlightened. But if you are like me, you will need the sledge hammer to become awake.
Animals seem to live in the present. I suppose they would be eaten in the present if their consciousness wondered to the future or past.
I remember the first day I experienced what the Buddha and the Dalai Lama speak about. I could see colors more vividly, aromas were more intense, the detail on the back of my hand was extraordinary. A silly smile descended upon my face that has rarely left me in the decades since. It occurred in a room full of people. It was a seminar called “est,” designed by Werner Erhard. The organization has renamed itself many times since, but they still help people find their way to enlightenment. It is called “The Landmark Forum” and has been offered all over the world for years. It is the Starbucks of enlightenment.
The Buddha is not just some silly old
fool. I often live in the joy that the Buddha and others talk about. It happened to me in an instant many years ago, and my life will never be the same. Most of my family went kicking and screaming into the present moment in Erhard's seminars. My mom went first, then dad. Erhard himself taught my mother.
My father taught me that life is about experiences. He never said that to me. He teaches by example. I admire people who lead by example. It is a powerful way to teach. He never told me to eat well. He just ate well. He never told me to enjoy my life, he just enjoyed his. He never told me to exercise. He just got up in the morning and ran. He never suggested I should go to college. He just studied hard all the way through medical school. He never told me I needed to be the best at what I do. He just kept reading medical journals his entire life. He never said that I should treat others well, he just did it himself. He never told me to think for myself and question everything. But I watched him
expose shallow arguments with only a chuckle. He never told me to ignore class distinctions, he just paid no attention to them. When someone is leading by example you don't feel judged. You listen carefully. I watched and I learned. My parents are both very good people. I learned from the best.
I did a fair amount of traveling even before this travelblog. My first trip was to Mazatlan with my parents. But I continued traveling once I was on my own. I was a fan of all-inclusive vacations for many years. I think it was in 2003, I took a trip to Turks and Caicos (Club Med) and South Beach Miami with my three sisters. Here are some pictures of that trip. My sisters are also very good people. Enjoy!
There are more photos below