Who ARE These Guys??!!

WHO ARE THESE GUYS??!!

2013 Guy

Dear Reader,

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while. No “excuse” really. It’s not as though I haven’t been thinking about things (too much probably), but I reckon I’ve been in that place where, because I don’t know whether anyone actually reads this stuff, I figured: “why post your thoughts? It’s just a ‘vanity thing’.”

But now, I’ve come around to: “So what? Even if that’s true, you’re still free to post. You are not doing harm; and besides, maybe someone WILL read it, perhaps enjoy or even benefit in some way. How do you know who’s reading what?”

So, voila! I’m back!

So, to put you in the picture – so to speak – I recently sent a batch of (really) old slides to be digitized, and I just got them back, copied them into iPhoto and had a look.

1960 Guy

Truthfully? My first thought was “WTF – who ARE these guys??!!”

Jeez! I do have to admit, deep shock at being confronted with the passing of time in this way, and right in my face(s) – not an exercise I recommend for the faint of heart.

1970's Guy

And this from ME – the “so-called” BUDDHIST – the guy who meditates, thinks about this stuff A LOT, and visits his mortality DAILY.

I’ve got these two differing visions of my own death:

In one, my imminent death is a massive, onrushing locomotive, roaring down the tracks right at me, its beam of white light shining right on me, telling me “it’s time, you’re on!!”

At other times my death is this quaint, vague concept: something far out there in time and space, that I fantasize about, read poems and books about, (post blogs about), and meditate on, but still, not quite real; something which happens, absolutely, but always, ALWAYS to someone else.

PLEASE don’t read any of this as a complaint. It’s not. Not at all! The years have been very, VERY kind to me. At the top of the list, my sweet bride (just have a look). But for sure, this a great heads up:

1970 "Just (and still) Married" Guy & Bride -YAY!

 

The 1960 guy…illusion. The1970’s guy…illusion. The early 2013 guy…already illusion. The (hopefully) 2014 -? guy…ditto!

We’ve all heard the oft-used expression: “There’s no time like the present.” We need to change that to: “There’s no time EXCEPT the present.”

So, if there is a possible teaching for us in any of this, this is probably the best time to offer one.

I’d like to do so by sharing a story and then a quote with you: 

First, the story:

Zusya, a teacher and Rabbi known far and wide for his wisdom and human heartedness was dying…and weeping too. “Why are you crying Rabbi?” asked his disciples. “Because”, answered Zusya, “very soon now I’m going to face my day of judgment”. “But Rabbi, Your whole life has been exemplary! You couldn’t have been more like Moses, than Moses himself!!” “Yes, I know, but that’s exactly the problem. They’re not going to ask me why I wasn’t more like Moses. They’re going to ask me why I wasn’t, more like Zusya.”

My purpose in sharing this story is definitely not to suggest that we paralyze ourselves with thoughts of past regrets – quite the opposite actually. It’s to invite us to ask ourselves this potentially life-changing question:

“What can I do now to live without continuing to accumulate NEW regrets?”

And now the quote: It’s from Goethe. You probably know it. He underlines the truth that the only REAL moment we ever get is THIS ONE.

“…Concerning all acts of initiative…there is one elementary truth, that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred…Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. BEGIN IT NOW.”

Just before I get to the customary “practice tip”, I’d like to invite you to listen to a poem written and read by W.H.Auden. It’s a favorite of mine.

**BTW, insofar as playing all the media is concerned, the usual caveat applies: if you are reading this in your email, and the media isn’t there, or won’t play, click on the title of the post which will bring you to my site. You will be able to play it from there.

And while you are reading the practice tip, you’re likewise invited to listen to a song recorded in 1969 by “The Fairpoint Convention”, which I’m pretty sure you will recognize.

Practice Tip:

At the top of this post I mentioned that I visit with my mortality daily. I’m going to share with you my personal practice of how I do that.

I’ve been told by some friends whom I’ve shared this with, that they find the idea of this practice depressing, gloomy, and even melancholic. That is totally not my intention. If doing this, or even the thought of doing this makes you uncomfortable, DON’T.

For me, it has the totally opposite effect. It supports me to savor, and live in gratitude for every day offered to me by my creator. Gratitude is my address.

It’s a “Buddhist” thing – a kind of “mantra” I suppose,  called “The Five Remembrances” which I recite daily before I get out of bed, when I’m in that “zone” between sleep and consciousness, when I’m just aware that my creator is allowing me another day of life. Here it is:

– I am of a nature to grow old. There is nothing I can do to escape old age.

– I am of a nature to become ill. There is nothing I can do to escape sickness.

– I am of a nature to die. There is nothing I can do to escape death.

– Everything I care about, and everyone who I love, is of a nature to change. There is nothing I can do to prevent being separated from them.

– My actions are my only sanctuary. My actions are the ground under me. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.

Dear Reader, it feels really good to be back with you.

Please, PLEASE, be kind to yourself.

Live in love,

Metta,

Michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a life coach, author and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After spending 35 years in business - coaching found him - and he's never looked back. Michael uses his coaching training and experience, in the service of his clients, as their constant and loving guide towards joyous, fulfilling lives which are genuinely their own. He lives with his dear wife in Sausalito, CA.

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