What do you take your time with? Spend time with? What do you do well? What do you care about? What do you believe in-- not as a statement of faith, but as a declaration of what is important to you, of what matters to you? These are centering questions. They point you to-- they reveal to you-- the things you can't be talked out of, the things that are central to you, that express/exhibit/incarnate who you are. They are windows into who you are. Visit them with that in mind. See what they have to say to you, about you-- what they might reveal to you about who else you are, and what might also be yours to do.
I think that in order to see things clearly, we would have to look at them with the advantage of being fluent in several languages. My favs would be: Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Latin, German, Russian, English, Swahili and Cherokee-- though I would be open to substitutions and additions. I would love to know how the world looks through the lens of those languages. What becomes visible and invisible as we move down, or up, the list? How does how we say what we see limit/expand/enable us to see what we look at? If you can help me with this, I would like to hear what you have to say, perhaps using the comment option at the bottom of this page. And whether or not you can assist me here, I count it against me and my handlers that I was not introduced to other languages earlier in my life, and urged with passion and relentless pursuit to learn more than one language not native to me. It is a regret that I did not do so that I will carry with me to the grave, and into whatever lies beyond. A second chance would be put to good use.
The old Taoists talk about living in accord with the Tao. I take that to mean living in the flow of life, in tune with what is happening and what needs to happen in response, and doing it because it needs to be done for the sake of doing it alone. This is a jam session of bluegrass musicians, at one with the music, going where the music takes them, with each musician at one with their instrument and with the other musicians at the same time, for the simple joy and wonder of participating in the music, of being graced and blessed by the music. Living in accord with the Tao. We can do that with our life by practicing the skills of being attuned to our life. That means silence, and being aware of the present moment on all levels without being hooked, possessed, owned by anything-- being aware without judgment or opinion of all that is with us in the moment. Seeing what we look at, hearing what is being said and how we are responding, knowing what's what, just sitting, just seeing, just hearing, just knowing, and watching what arises unbidden as impulse, as calling, as invitation to do what needs to be done without having anything invested in the outcome, with nothing to gain or to lose, just doing what needs to be done, because it needs to be done, doing it and being done with it for the joy of doing it and moving back into sitting and seeing, and hearing... It's the practice that allows us to resonate with our life, and enter the dance, being danced by the music of life for the wonder of it all, in tune and in time with flow of life and being.
An inventory of the things we care about-- and the degree to which we care about them-- is a good practice to include in our regimen for maintaining our awareness of ourselves and our life throughout the time left for living. What matters to us? How is that evident in the way we live our life? How would anybody know it matters to us? What are the basic, fundamental, core, essential concerns that ground us, orient us, and around which our life coalesces? What do we serve with all our heart, mind,soul and strength? Who would know that about us? Meditate on these things.
Old people have a hard time processing change. They like it the way it was. Old people tend to be in charge of things, because of their position in the community, because many of them are wealthy and have the power associated with money, and because it is traditionally assumed that old people know what they are doing. I'm talking about the Republican Party here. The Republican Party is devious to a fault. It calls multi-million dollar tax cuts to wealthy corporations and individuals "bailouts." They call financial assistance to farmers "subsidies." And they call aid to the poor, both in terms of financial help and in terms of programs to assist poor people with job training, health care and child care, "Socialism!" Republicans have no shame, no conscience, no guilt, no compassion, no heart, no soul, no concern for anyone not like them. And they will say and do anything to maintain their power and extend it over poor people and all people of color. They justify what they are doing in 10,000 ways, all of which come down to "I'm going to do this because I want to and you can't stop me!" Leaving the rest of us with no recourse but to band together and vote in every election, local, state and national, and vote for whomever has the best chance to win who is not a Republican for as long as we still have the right to vote.