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May 17, 2005

If not here, where? If not now, when?


I am good at what I am doing,
It�s fun at times, rest it�s boring.
It�s ok, it is not hell,
Hey, it even pays well.
Yet in my heart I know,
I want to do something else.
�Coz this work ain�t me,
I am someone else.


Well, that captures our feeling during last Thursday�s session.

There are different approaches to find a solution for this situation. The most familiar one goes like this: Make enough money � to get enough free time � to explore enough avenues � to find the right endeavor that feeds the stomach and satisfies the soul.

We know too many people are stuck at the first step! Living in the Silicon Valley, we also know of quite a few people who have gone beyond the first step and are stuck in every other step.

When we look at people who did not get stuck anywhere, typically they did not start at the �make enough money� step. The majority of super-achievers we know in every field � arts, science, business, politics and spirituality � did not start with chasing money. Imagine what history would have been if Gandhi had started his freedom fight with, �Well, let me first raise enough money for the campaign.�

So where did they start? What were their first steps?

From what I know about many legends, I shared with the group my understanding of what their first steps were: They were two deceptively simple but very powerful steps: Here and Now.

Many legends we know did not have a 50-page business plan, enough money, the right place and the right team before they started their life�s work. They looked around and asked themselves, �What is wrong here?� Then they looked within and asked themselves, �What is wrong here?� Then they asked themselves, �What can I do right now?�

�So why don�t we make the connection between the �here-and-now step� and a significant achievement in the future?� I asked the group.

Sreekanth said, �Because we think logically�

His further explanation amounted to: �We want to follow the logic of an idea linearly and see whether it will lead us to where we want to go. But because we don�t know where we want to go, we are not able to see how a small attempt to address a challenge or an opportunity within and around us right now, could somehow lead us to the right place and the right endeavor around which we can design the life that is perfect for us.�

In other words, our logic-conditioned mind is not able to make the connection between the micro and the macro because the macro is bigger and more complex than what logic could handle.

So I asked, �Why can�t we take the lives of the many legends we know as empirical proof to the validity of the �here and now� approach and begin here and now?�

There was a long silence after that question. No one gave an answer. But when I scanned faces, I could see intense concentration.

It gave me the clue to what one could practice to let go of our need for logical explanations before we start with here and now:

Meditate everyday for a few minutes on the question, �What is special about here and now?� The �here and now� not as concepts but as the actual here (the place you are) and the actual now (the time you are at a place).

Any thoughts you have here and now?

Posted by Ragu at May 17, 2005 10:45 AM

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