One Apple A Day #748 – loud water

Yesterday evening I was in a workshop, and my dear friend Luca guided us through a powerful practice. It was a simple recentering exercise in which he invites to expand all our senses, one by one, so we could notice more.
I was sitting at my desk, and the first sound I heard was the water flowing out from the well in the garden. Anchored on that sound, I gradually expanded my attention, and the world came alive: the birds singing, the TV in a near flat, a neighbour working in its garden, some dogs playing somewhere, the cars passing by in the distance.
The power of attention is just mindblowing.

This morning, with that rich experience still in my heart, I decided to move outside for my morning practices, near the well.
The familiar sound of the water spring welcoming me while I sat for my meditation practice.
But the experience hasn’t been what I expected. The sound of the water was so loud that it covered everything else. I couldn’t hear anything but the water flowing. I even struggled to listen to my own thoughts.
I realised that when we have something in our life so loud – such as a need, a pain, a thought, a desire or even love or joy – we can’t hear anything else. That single thing can fill up our senses and numb ourselves to everything else.
Next time I feel someone is not listening to me, I’ll ask if there is something in their life so loud that they can’t hear anything else.
Maybe I can help.

One Apple A Day #743 – does it make sense?

This question has been walking with me since yesterday.

Does it make sense?

Whatever I’m doing, writing, saying, thinking right now. 

Whatever it’s happening to me or anyone else in the world at this moment.

Does it make sense?

In the dictionary to make sense means to have a clear meaning. 

So it’s something different from being reasonable, right, or logical. And also from being pleasurable, satisfying or rewarding.

Something makes sense when it’s meaningful.

Viktor Frankl wrote that “the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way.” 

I believe it works for everything in life. Things don’t have a meaning; we give them a meaning. 

Last days I learned that only when I sense the meaning of what I do, I make it work. If it doesn’t make sense to me, I go in half-hearted. Even if it’s the right thing to do or the most reasonable in that context, I don’t achieve the desired outcome.

Things are even more complicated when it’s not about making sense of my choices or actions, but of events on which I don’t have control. Yet even in that case, it’s up to me to make sense of them.

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.” – Viktor Frankl

One Apple A Day #733 – you are me

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

I went to bed yesterday evening with this sentence in my head. 

A reminiscence from my childhood, maybe.

When I woke up, it was still there.

So, I checked it out, and it’s a small bit from a quite judgemental parable from Jesus. One in which he spoke about judgement day and the division between the righteous ones going to heaven and the not so righteous going to hell.

I’d like to stand clear of the judgement part, as I believe everyone carries both sides. At least, I do.

But that sentence wants to tell me something.

On the surface, I may read it as a piece of advice; be good and kind with others if you want to be welcome to heaven.

But to me, it says something more. It reminds me that the divine is within each one of us. That we are all made of the same substance. Even more, that we are one.

And that means that “every time I hurt someone, I am hurting myself. Every act of kindness I do, I’m doing it to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human is, was, and will be, experienced by me.

Just think about how the world would change if we all live with this awareness. If we all act from this place of oneness.

Me, I’m not there yet. Quite far to be honest. But I can feel the power and peace that comes from just reflecting on this.

It is a journey.

One that I’m willing to walk.

If you have some time, read this today.

One Apple A Day #731 – who are you?

Such a simple yet not easy question.
I still don’t have “the” answer, maybe because there is no right way to answer.
Whatever I say in response to that question, says something about me. Even if I don’t answer at all.
In the mind of the person asking a process begins even before the question comes out. They are trying to match what they see and perceive with the models in their mind so they can fit me somewhere. Make sense of my presence in their world.
So, what and how I decide to answer is very important, and it’s not at the same time. There are many things I’m not choosing consciously that are coming through in any case.
But all of this does not solve my problem.
What is the best way to answer such a question?
Sometimes I say what I do, sometimes I describe myself through the connections that I have. I tried starting with why.
They are all incomplete.
There is always something missing.
And maybe I just have to accept that.
Every human being is a multi-layered infinite universe.
I’m still exploring that universe, learning new things about myself every day. And I’m pretty sure it’s a journey for which my whole life won’t be enough.
Whatever my answer, there will always be something missing.
Something I know but I don’t want to, or I’m not ready to share.
Something I know, but I don’t know how to share.
But mostly, something I don’t know at all.

One Apple A Day #727 – a strange journey

The journey of life is a strange one.
It is an infinite one.
One in which we never arrive.
Yet, we’re always in the perfect place.
Exactly where we are meant to be.

Oh, the power that inhabits in this tension.

Being able to see the perfection of the present moment.
Of the here and now.
And yet, to keep moving forward.
To strive for the unknown.