(This post has been published in Elephant Journal. Pretty cool! Read that here.)
“The most important thing is to find out what is the most important thing.”
— Shunryu Suzuki
Before beginning your next asana, workout or bout on a meditation cushion, I’d invite you to consider …
Bottom line: why am I here?
May this question engulf, engage and challenge what notions we have of progress.
It’s such a simple question at face value, no? It is simple, certainly, to lose sight of its importance, or of even asking at all.
It’s more measurable, and probably a little easier to focus on the numbers in our reps and sets, our alignment in trikonasana, our body-fat percentages, the roundness of our mudras in meditation.
Why am I here? Why practice these movements of body and mind in the first place? What’s the point?
Let us not be so quick to answer.
Our answers provide us a direction and sense of progress, and for that we can be grateful. But direction and progress don’t answer our question.
Why am I here?
Why devote ourselves to a practice, not in general but this practice, the one happening right now, today? We can’t bring an ounce of proper alignment, one of our record-breaking double-unders or any clarity of thought to the grave. So why do it?
When the workout is done, how do I lift my water bottle? By what ease, alignment and awakeness do I get in and out of the car? How do I treat the next stranger I come across?
Why am I here?
What is the most important thing?