I find my bliss in the chaos. I find my stillness in the dance.
When I was younger, I used to spend my time waiting for this perfect moment I imagined would come to take action. The right moment, I assumed, would arrive for me to ask out that girl. The sun would shine upon me, as in a movie, to tell me I was making the right choices. The Universe would suddenly sing in unison to show me the way.
Now, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of those moments in my life and perhaps you have too. However, they’re not reliable enough base your life strategy around.
The great mythologist Joseph Campbell pointed out there were two spheres of thought in ancient Buddhism – Indian and Chinese. The former has this concept of Samadhi, while the latter is based more on the idea of the Tao.
Samadhi is a moment where the great enlightened being stills the world around him or her to a state of perfected bliss and union. Meanwhile, the Tao summons the idea that life is a chaotic balance always in movement around the great being and that enlightenment is found not in stilling the chaos, but in becoming one with the ebb and flow.
That younger me was constantly waiting for moments of Samadhi. Now I’m certain such a state is reachable by the most enlightened among us and for all of us in certain moments. It’s also reachable if you want to leave the world, as Buddha did, and spend your life on a mountain or in a forest in complete contemplation. For most of us ordinary human beings with a job and mortgage, though, we must be content with finding our bliss amid the chaos of a life that never stops and is always presenting new challenges.
That younger me thought life would stop and wait for me at some point; that I”d suddenly “get it” and all would fall beautifully into place. This older wiser me understands that the beauty and sometimes the terror is found in the constant chaos that is our lives. The beauty is not just in that magical stillness, but in the flow of the river that never ceases.
Power Hack: Stop waiting. There’s no perfect moment except this one. Your goals, your dreams, and your destiny are found on the run. Samadhi does exist and I’d welcome you to seek it, but it’s not the mechanism that will drive most of your happiness or success. For that, you must lose yourself in this moment of action and find your bliss amid the chaos.
Ask him out. Apply to Harvard. Write the book. Change the world. Do it now.
You are all amazing! Never forget it no matter what anyone says. Thank you so much for spending a few more minutes with me on the blog today.
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