Do We Have Control?

Great Outdoors, In The News, Random Thoughts2 Comments

Rodney meditates

I can’t stop thinking about it, control. I ponder it in Zen meditation, heading to the session with it in my mind and then leaving with it on my mind. I reflect on it in the car, when I am driving. I deliberate it in the shower, over breakfast and when I go fishing!

I “Google” it and come up with a definition, “the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.”

My Zen meditation sensei, Al Rapaport, relates everything to fishing. “You can have the perfect boat, fishing outfit, and bait, but you can’t control the ocean conditions or whether anything will bite. It’s important to know what we can control and what we can’t – be as precise as we can with the things under our control, and let go of those we have no power over.”

Power over oneself? I live my life keeping in mind and staying present. Don Miguel Ángel Ruiz book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, who’s author is a Toltec spiritualist and neo-shamanistic states, The Four Agreements are: (1) be impeccable with your word; (2) don’t take anything personal; (3) don’t make assumptions, (4) and always do your best. I think Don Miguel has left the best for last! It changes moment to moment if you feel fabulous or vulnerable; avoid self-criticism or self-doubt; simply do your best.

I go to the beach at sunup and let the ocean’s swell run between my feet. I look down to see my reflection in the water and sand. One moment it was there, and the next second it was gone. Sometimes I feel like I’ve never been here at all.

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