Ice Cream

Our mind sure does like to plan.  It likes to take what we have going on right now, and evolve it into a beautiful portrait waiting for us to paint.  As if life as we experience it in the present moment were a bowl of ice cream, our mind likes to think of the cherries and chocolate sauce it can add to it.  How often have you been in the middle of something, or about to go somewhere, and your mind thinks how it would be nice to do this EVERY week!  “Wouldn’t it be nice if I started jogging with my friends every Saturday morning?” “Wouldn’t it be nice if I moved to (fill in the blank) so I can finally start that business?” “Wouldn’t it be nice…so I can…”

When this happens, we are taken from the moment we are experiencing.  We are jogging for the first time in a long time, and it feels GREAT.  Our mind immediately connects this good feeling with needing to sustain it.  Certainly, this is not bad in itself.  A regular routine can be quite healthy.  However, if we are not careful, we can begin to obligate ourselves to an overwhelming amount of things.  This is particularly true if we engage in things that are pleasurable often.  “I need to run more.  I need to dance more.  I need to write more.  I need to have sex more.  I need to…more.”  The idea of “more” comes in because of our tireless search for happiness, pleasure, and a validation of our own existence.  But, sadly, even sex leave us feeling empty.  Play the same song over and over for long enough, you MIGHT just grow tired of it.

Life is ice cream.  There is rarely the need to add “more” to it.  If you enjoy it while it is here, and you experience every bite, first to last, there will be no need to add anything else.  The ice cream is plenty sweet as it is.  The less we pay attention to its gift, the more we pile on the toppings.  Soon, we do not have life — we have extra fluff.  We may leave the table unfinished because we wanted “more.”

I have noticed the more I pile on in life, the more unfinished projects I have.  The more loose ends are left untied.  This feels tiresome to me.  Looming over me is the lack of fulfillment in what pans out to be nothing but fluff; a pursuit of happiness for the sake of “more.”  And as if it were some joke, Taoist Zen seems to suggest the answer to this problem is, “nothing.”  Stop seeking “more” solutions!  The way out of your suffering is, “non-action.”  Invite in that discomfort, welcome it.  You will be no more ahead or behind in life.  You will eventually take your next step, most likely, when you have decided to stop fighting.