My friend wrote me an email recently mentioning that he was made redundant due to a “resource reallocation” exercise within his group. It is just another nice word to mean he is no longer needed in the company. To be made to leave after working for umpteen years can be a cruel shock. But then again, isn’t that what life is constantly making out of us?
We are made to move out from the comfort of the bed to another day of work. We are made to keep changing our choices of food each day else it will get pretty boring. We are made to change our fashion to keep up with the Jones. We are made to update our IT gadget so that there is always something better than what we are already having. We are made to keep track of what is in news. We are made to manipulate another to keep abreast of our peers. An exhaustive journey indeed the moment we get out from bed. It never stops. Not even when we take a break for a rest.
The mind keeps wanting you to be abreast of what is here. Keeps pushing you out of your need to rest or enjoy just simply being in the moment. There is always something to do or somewhere to go or somehow nothing seems to be right here. To step back and watch this incessant need is indeed a challenge. I recall just a little more than a decade ago where the 486 Pentium processor was considerably fast and I am sure I did not complain about its speed then simply because it was the best during that time. Imagine using the same model now and I can be sure the mind will get irate about it. Life is on the fast lane and the mind is being unconsciously pushed to speed up or else we will miss out what is already here. But is that true? The mind is getting more and more mindless, and without doubt more irritated and restless than before. The kids need to listen to music or songs to study, to occupy the mind so that focus is possible. How can that be so?
Give a little attention to the mind and one will be surprised by the discomfort within. To settle the mind takes a little longer than it used to in the past. Contentment is unheard of nowadays. Simplicity is rarely found. In the past, a retreat is devoid of worldly needs where the practitioner has bare minimum to live through each day giving more time for self development. Now, things have changed. Life is incomplete without a mobile phone and it has to be carried to retreats and has to be checked randomly whether there are any calls or sms that came in. The mind is a little busier in this sense. This little is sufficient enough to break the peace of the mind as it is in constant check – waiting, harboring, anticipating, expecting. With more and more new features added into the phone – no longer merely a gadget for calling – enabling one to reach practically any information at the touch of a finger, what more is there left to each moment, except virtual reality hovering in the mind, mindless to what is already here.