Knowledge is knowing how babies are born into the world, wisdom is remembering the enormity of love I felt when my son breathed his first breath, knowing 100 billion people through time have felt a similar and unique love.
Wisdom is different than knowledge. It changes you. In this world, where you have more information at your fingertips than any generation in history, the inescapable truth is that knowledge without wisdom is empty. It can and has been used to mislead us. Despite all of the political ramifications, I am not referring to other people. I am referring to how each of us deceives ourselves by confusing knowledge with wisdom. We should not even start looking at other people as the problem until we first look within. Think of how the world would change if each of us took on the responsibility of knowing thyself.
However, the only way to engage a study so large and vast as the body/mind is day by day, moment by moment engagement with the body/mind, and a gentle unfolding of wisdom into our own life. To pay attention is no easy feat! Intelligence viewing intelligence is a cultivated skill that takes time and effort.
If you have gotten to a place where you are sick and tired of being drug around by all of the myriads of distractions, emotions, addictions, endless mental conversations, anger, and suffering, then it is time to learn to pay attention. Not just for an hour, not just for a day, a week, a month or year, but for the rest of your life. A person can only cut through the knot of illusions by looking within. If you think this is about finding yourself, that is incorrect, because there is simply nothing to find. It is about paying attention.
The simplest way to start on this path is meditating daily. Pick one and stick with it. (I have included several on this site; Mindfulness of Breath,Judging Breath,Sit and Forget) Keep it simple. Then revisit that practice throughout your day. It could be a seated meditation or a moving meditation. Like the other 100 billion people that have lived on this mudball rocketing through space, we all have one thing in common. That is our body/mind and its ability to pay attention.
There is no finish line, there is not a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You can’t sell it, you can’t hold it, and you can’t logically understand it. You can only experience it. Nobody can tell you about it, nobody can explain it to you. You need nothing that is not already part of you. Nobody can make you do it. It is entirely your choice to choose to pay attention or to keep being baffled and suffering because of lack of attentions many reflections.
However, if you chose to wake up, then slowly and surely, something will emerge from every corner of your existence, something that has already been present. It manifests itself as an unshakable playfulness and wonder at being alive.
First, admit to yourself that you “Know” nothing! Start fresh every moment, as if everything you have done, and experienced thus far has led you to this dead end.
At the same time, honor what you have done, reminding yourself that all of your experiences brought you here to this moment, then set out anew. It will take time, effort, and the practice of kindness and patience with yourself and others. Did you really see that last line? Let me say it another way. Humbly admit to yourself that paying attention will take time, effort, and a lot of kindness and patience with yourself and others. Then relax, and start paying attention. A journey of a thousand steps begins with one step, it also must continue with another One, then another One…