“What am I doing Now?”

“I like having even spread on both toasts.” — Some dude

I put my body trough brutal training last week and caught hay fever(or some bitch-ass variant). With personal work, learning Russian, doing rock climbing, cycling, jogging, boxing, drinking, late-night parties and driving around to pick people up and down I eroded my sanity; layer by layer.

So a few days later I dropped nearly everything and began asking myself a simple question : “What am I doing now?”. The idea is simple, I looked at myself and figured out I was spreading thin into virtually 50 things. My mind became a multi-headed hydra. Whenever I tried to slice a thought down, two thoughts leashed forward!

It was time to accept the fact that I was in deep waters and that I was going to remain there for a while if I didn’t alter my last few decisions. By asking “What am I doing now?” I put the focus on the task at hand.

  • What am I doing now? Washing the dishes. Why am I complaining about it? Is it doing any good? Wash. The. Dishes.
  • What am I doing now? Reading an article. Why is Facebook open?
  • What am I doing now? Walking to the store. Why am I rushing to the store? Because… I don’t know, I don’t like walks?
  • What am I doing now? Riding my bike. Then why is my face crisped and serious? I don’t know, because I don’t enjoy bike rides coasting the beautiful canal?

What is the point of this question and all of these answers? The following Zen dialog might have an answer for you :

“Master, how do you put enlightenment into action? How do you practice it in everyday life?”

“By eating and sleeping,” replied the master.

“But Master, everybody sleeps and everybody eats.”

“But not everybody eats when they eat, and not everybody sleeps when they sleep.”

From this comes the famous Zen saying, “When I eat, I eat; when I sleep, I sleep.”[1]

So in the coming days. I’m going to put an emphasis on restraining myself to doing one thing… with vigor and focus.

[1] Dialog from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

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