Aimlessness is the third door of liberation. Apranihita is the Sanskrit term. Apranihita means you don’t put anything in front of you as object of your pursuit. What you are looking for is already there, not outside of you. You are already what you want to become. You are wonderful just like that. Don’t try to be something else, someone else. You don’t have to go to the future in order to get what you want. Everything you are looking for, it is right here, in the here and the now, including the Kingdom of God, your immortality, your deathlessness. Your enlightenment is right here. And that is truly the third door of liberation: aimlessness.
Excerpt from a Dharma Talk by Thich Nhat Hanh
Just lately I have been wandering around in my brain and leaning towards this idea that I am just not being present in my life at all at the moment. Goals haven’t really been working out for me lately and the idea of a goal-less state is appealing and in many ways perhaps necessary. And at the same time quite challenging, even frightening.
I am probably busier than I have ever been in my life and it is not very pleasant. I’m feeling overwhelmed. It feels like nothing seems to get achieved even though my days seem to be filled with endless tasks and goals. Finding this talk by Thich Nhat Hanh on aimlessness, the third door of liberation, was timely and really made me stop and think.
It seems like now is a good time to find some time to just be still.
A time to sit with intention
A time to be authentic
A time for more aimlessness, and trust that this aimlessness will lead me in my true direction.
A time to move beyond the hamster wheel of busy-ness
A time to be present on a whole new level.
I am such a novice at all this mindfulness, really. And while I have found a pattern of regular meditation, in the last week the discipline of this has fallen away. (How does one embrace aimlessness but remain disciplined? This is something to explore.)
I have felt that I have lost my authenticity and with it many aspects of my wellbeing. It feels like time to reflect and come back to centre. In that time-honoured tradition of many introverts, I need to hunker down in to myself and just be alone for a little while. Or at least to find some little spaces here and there for myself. Because grasping at authenticity from the midst of the hamster wheel just isn’t working – one of the problems is that there are too many other people running around that wheel with me.
This blog is one area at the moment where I feel that I am grasping at authenticity, and also grappling with something so basic as time to write.
Perhaps aimlessness will reveal a new approach to my writing. Perhaps I will find a new way to prioritise writing so that I actually produce more posts. Perhaps I will actually get that e-book of my thesis written…
So I am going to take a little break for a month or so. I’m sure it won’t be very noticeable as posts on here are already so haphazard! But it will be a time to re-group without feeling pressure to write posts (that don’t get written anyway).
It will be a time to finally get an e-book of my thesis written with the right intention and in the right spirit.
So for now I will concentrate on cultivating a little more aimlessness in my life and see where it takes me.
Leo Babauta has written a lot about living without goals: http://zenhabits.net/goal-less/