The Monastic Life

“If you don’t have the ability to celebrate what you have now, nothing you get—and I mean nothing; nothing material, nothing experiential, no amount information, no amount of experience, no amount of material possessions—is going to teach you how to celebrate.”

-WUDE

The monastic life has always intrigued me. I stayed at a monastery for a week in Greece when I was 22. It was one of the most humbling and awakening experiences of my life. I go back there often, in my head. I journey up to those foggy mountains and into the cold wooden chapels. The Observer breathes in all the ritual and reverence hanging in the air. It’s a beautiful place to go, I’ll take you there sometime.

Mia gradated from high school this weekend in Ukiah. It was the first time in years that the entire family was together (and not arguing). The dichotomy of good and bad is a pendulum constantly swinging back and forth in my mind. It is the cause of all suffering. Thinking about the past and labeling it as good, and the present as bad, is like turning off the light on today, robbing it of all it’s beauty. This is the greatest challenge, to remain present in gratitude in all situations. This is what brings peace.

If you are also someone who struggles with judging and labeling events and times in life, my encouragement is to revisit your thinking and make a shift from judgement to awareness. We know this truth, that thinking about the past causes suffering and worrying about the future, anxiety. The path to peace is the be fully present in every moment, to accept every moment for what it is,  not wishing it to be anything else. As the zen buddhist monk WUDE, says, if you can’t appreciate this, what you have today, you will never truly appreciate anything.

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