Once it happened…A customer walking into Shankaran Pillai’s pharmacy saw a man outside hugging a lamppost, his eyeballs rolling wildly. When he walked in, he asked, “Who’s that man? What’s wrong with him?” Shankaran Pillai replied, unperturbed, “Oh, that guy. He’s one of my customers.” “But what’s the matter with him?” “He wanted something for a whooping cough. I gave him the appropriate medicine.” “What did you give him?” “A box of laxatives.
Something strange happens to us as we grow out of childhood into adolescence and then adulthood. The child that once had not a care in the world, that could get over anything at the drop of a hat, that could let go, move on and overcome anything with a resilience that is rarely found in any adult becomes strikingly different as time passes. Continue reading
Each of us lives in a world, and that world is meant to dry up in its time like a withering flower to make way for the growth that follows it. Lacking an understanding of the process, we are depressed and discouraged when it happens. We say that things aren’t going well for us. We look for ways to solve our problems, fix things, and get our lives back on track again. Of course, “back on track” means “back on the track they were on before we encountered this difficulty.” And that means “back into the life that it was actually time to let go of.”
True listening is another way of bringing stillness into the relationship. When you truly listen to someone, the dimension of stillness arises and becomes an essential part of the relationship. But true listening is a rare skill. Usually, the greater part of a person’s attention is taken up by their thinking. At best, they may be evaluating your words or preparing the next thing to say. Or they may not be listening at all, lost in their own thoughts. Continue reading
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear, nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. Continue reading