The Most Important Thing

(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.

whats_important

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?

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