Meditations, not just for Buddhists...
Learning from the past requires a present mindset.
I began "Meditations" unsure what I'd take away, what I'd discover, what I'd learn.
It took me two months to read, digest and comprehend "Meditations", which is the personal journal of Marcus Aurelius. It's worth a read for anyone here, because if you like my content, then you'll like the content in the journal.
It will still take time to think about and digest and employ the concepts continually found in this journal.
There was a few things I walked away with that I'd like to share if you have any desire to read this.
So here's a not so comprehensive list of things that are worthwhile in my opinion for consideration in your own life.
Imagine a book with no page numbers, would you feel uncomfortable? Would you feel lost? Do you require a box around you to live freely? So long as you know where, what and who you are, you are ok? Try once a day without the page numbers, the constant road signs instructing you, even if subtly, take control of a situation and learn how to use the instinct, and light and the dark as your guide.
In regards to time, I often think about looking at a watch without hours and minutes defined and telling the untrained eye to give you the time, that is akin to life. Time is an understanding, a prison sentence which is defined by a beginning and end you don't naturally choose. Fear of this prison sentence is useless. The only cellmate you'll ever have is your own mind and your physical body. The only measures of time you have is the day and night and the aging body. Accept what is, or don't, but remember you have limited time to do something about it.
Some simple bullet points as I wrote about it...
- You are ## years dead, rather than ## years old. For me it's currently 36, when will you start to live!
- Opinion is everything. One simply has to look at how we squabble over facts on the internet.
- Change and death are interchangeable.
- Change is a must, death is a must.
- Fear is useless and will prevent your success in all things.
- Understanding when to stop and slow down and take in the surroundings is critical to growth.
- What if the control I have is simply just belief that I have control.
- Dust and steam are one in the same. Like smoke and ashes of the cremated body, we came from nothing, we end as nothing. An energy source that cannot be created nor destroyed, yet we don't fully understand or comprehend it.
- Everything has an expiration date, nothing good lasts forever.
- Not everything requires a thought, a feeling, an emotion, a response.
- A lock is a false sense of security.
- Suffering is optional.
- The obstacle is the way.
Last but not least, my favorite "get your ass out of bed" section of this journal...
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I'm going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”
It was refreshing to me to finally have content to relate to about things that have bugged me since I was a teenager. I knew I inherently felt things about life that were far deeper than surface level, but I didn't know how to describe it until I found stoicism and the writings, quotes, ideas and so on.
So with the "last but not least" idea I went out and did what something I haven't done in a while, shot a sunrise in the cold. With a light zip up hoodie, gym pants, breathable shoes by the river this morning and I sat amongst the cold frigid temperatures of the shore line, ice in front of me, lots of geese, a couple pelicans swimming in the water and waited for the sun to rise. I won't lie, I got cold, but I found myself as soon as I was able to focus on the image I wanted I stopped shaking, I focused. I got into my flow and I felt nothing, no pain, no cold, just existence in all its glory while I was prying open my third eye (queue TOOL). Now if only I and you could do this all the time, getting into the flow state. How much more efficient and enjoyable life would be. Alas, we are creatures no different than the birds, bees, bears, sloths, etc. with the exception, I believe, that we live life as if tomorrow is guaranteed, and by now if you still think it is...re-read this post.