I wrote this to Susan Baroncini-Moe who interviewed me for her show/podcast 2Questions.TV. Absolutely deeelightful, kindred spirits we are (Yoda observes). Here ’tis:
Naturally my mind turned to you even while doing ‘www.calm.com.’ And thinking about a certain aversion one may have to the creatures on the trail. May I suggest you adopt and practice, a bit of Asian philosophy, in “A Book of Five Rings,” by Japan’s most famous samurai written over 400 years ago. One of the few books ‘captured’ in Napoleon’s mobile command post at Waterloo.
In his Way of life, Myimoto Masushai said. Learn the two-fold gaze of sight and perception. Sight is weak, perception is strong. Sight is what meets our eyes, perception is what it means which is always interesting and enlightening and can be profound. Perception is collectively life changing.
Consider the creatures of nature . . . all part of a Grand Design, Divinely guided and a marvel of evolution. They represent balance, purpose, beauty, harmony and much more. Take a minute to study them as they appear to you on a foray into nature. See what they mean to you, you may surprise yourself. Also, though this only one act of gazing properly, it will creep into how you approach your day. WE all have difficulties of all sorts: just about everyone has hidden (most not so hidden) meaning and benefit. I could decry a difficult marriage. But we have marvelous children and had I made another choice I would have had other rough roads, perhaps even premature health. I used a real tragedy to go back to school to get a Doctorate no less, write books, travel, make and keep new friends, develop new interests and hobbies while nurturing even indulging old ones (love to read). In other words, earn the respect of respectable people, give back and have fun. Furthermore, I see myself as a granddad in training!
Life is good, really good. I can see your face lighting up in the consuming smile you continuously had during our interview!!
AKA The Honest Backpacker