Twenty-nine years ago today a man died. Around the world this man was loved by many and hated by many. The ones who love him would not say he died, instead they would say that he left his body on this day all these years ago. I like that way of describing death; as leaving your body but at the same time implying that your spirit somehow still is around.
About the possibility of life after death this man once said:
The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.
This resonates with me. As everyone, I too will die some day and I don’t know when. It can be tomorrow and it can be decades away (I hope the latter!). But regardless of my time of death it feels important for me to feel that I have truly lived. That I (to borrow the man’s words) squeezed the juice out of life. Since I reached that conclusion for myself I feel that this juice-squeezing business kind of has become my life’s mission. So I ask myself often: am I truly alive? Am I living my truth? Writing this blog helps me with this which is a large part of why I continue to write.
I have found that living happens in the now. It’s not happening in one hour, tomorrow or next week. It’s right now that is the only moment for me to be alive. So that means that it’s up to me in every moment to decide how it is I want to live. Do I want to be aware and awake or do I want to numb myself and live my life while being asleep? I realize that this can be a controversial thing for some people, the notion of having a choice. I think many people are living in a way where they feel they have no choice and that they are a victim of life, especially when they are experiencing trauma. Then all these spiritual words can easily become spiritual bullshit. I fully respect that and can understand how a person might reach that conclusion. If I was living in a refugee camp or experiencing abuse for example I would probably feel the same. But it so happens that I live a privileged life including the opportunity to attend a lot of trainings and workshops offered by world-class therapists and wise people who inspire me. My life also includes a roof over my head and food in my fridge. My health and love from my family and friends. Therefore I feel that it not only becomes a nice thing to ask myself how I want to live my life and if I’m living my truth, it really also feels like my obligation.
As I have written before I have found that my path in life isn’t about getting what I want. Instead it’s about giving who I am without the need for return. This feels true for me and it also makes me feel alive. It’s a fun journey to discover my uniqueness and consciously work to figure out how I can use this in the best way during my time on earth. I have however also found that it’s incredibly easy to get lost on my path just because of the simple fact that I’m living in a city in a western country and not on a mountain top somewhere. I’m living in (once again borrowing the man’s words) the marketplace and there are lots of noises and distractions going on pretty much all the time. So how to keep focus on living every moment fully and consciously even in this environment? About this, the man once said:
Go to the marketplace but remember not to get lost in it.
Remain a watcher.
It is very easy to get lost. (…)
Be yourself, discover your inner beauty, your purity of consciousness, your hidden splendor and spread it around to as many people as possible.
Remain a watcher, that is such a life-key for me! In every moment I can watch what’s going on, whatever that might be, and use my body as a guide. So when something happens in my life I can watch and feel: does this give me a headache or do I feel happy? Do I feel a big knot in my stomach or did it suddenly become easier to breathe? My body has become my number one navigational tool in life and nowadays I rely upon it 100%. This automatically means that Lennart (the voice of my mind) has to take a step back. Also him I can watch as he tries to pull his tricks on me to get me to act or be in a certain way. Being a watcher to me equals meditation. I don’t think meditation only applies to sitting in uncomfortable poses. I believe I can live my life in meditation every moment, just simply by being aware of what’s going on.
I feel I have found some form of navigation that works for me. But it’s hard work, every single day. It requires a willingness (and quite frankly: courage) to go inside myself and to see what’s going on in there. Not always a pretty picture! For me it’s about facing my demons and my fears. It’s about crying, feeling angry, numb and confused but also dancing and laughing. Over and over again, probably for the rest of my life. So this whole spiritual business to me is not so glamorous at all. In other words: not so yoga-perfect with smoothies and vegan food if you get what I mean. To me, it’s a daily meditation practice that requires awareness. It doesn’t happen in the spotlight and there is no glory in it really. Except for these moments when I suddenly feel flow. That I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in my life. That I’m truly alive and living my truth in whatever way it’s happening at that moment. These moments are so precious to me! However trying to hold on to them or force them in any way does not work. Like waves, they come and they go and then they come again. So surfing it really is about for me, these waves of life.
The man who left his body twenty-nine years today is called Osho (yes, the one from the Netflix-series Wild Wild Country). I love parts of Osho’s talks, I also disagree with parts of it. And yet the great thing is that, to me, it really doesn’t matter what I or other people feel about Osho because I believe it’s not about him. What he did during his time on earth, in my eyes, was a rather brilliant thing. I think his whole thing was about creating both chaos and deep peace to make people stop, feel and go inside themselves. If they felt provoked by something he did or said, that they would go inside themselves and question why this particular thing triggered them so much and use that to go deeper inside and find their inner presence and wisdom. I think Osho wanted people to find their own truth and the juiciness of life through meditation. And then let that radiate for other people to see and be inspired by. In other words: for everyone to live their life to the fullest, in their own unique way. Imagine if everyone would walk that path; I truly believe the world would be a different place!
Photo: Martin Adams – unsplash.com