When I first discovered adventures in the outdoors, one of the things I loved about it was the difference sense of certainty from what I was used to.
I’d go and be in these wild places and test myself against natural forces that really, in essence, allowed me to be there.
And I’d come back to civilisation with all the small scrambles for certainty and security - my bills, the worries about my job, the arguments about who was right with my girlfriend -
All of them had a different perspective.
What came to the fore - what was more real, more defined, more certain than anything else - was the simple fact of my existence.
What was real was the simple beauty that I lived, that I had choice, that I was aware.
That gave me security, and certainty, simply because it was so definite.
The worries and doubts all born of the rush to create some kind of “life” for myself were still there - but became lighter.
That world was still a world I wanted, and needed, to play in, but the outdoors gave me a substance to my existence that lay beyond all of that.
When I look around I see how radical that is, how lucky I am in that.
And meditation has simply reinforced that sense of inner constancy in a world of change and rush and scrambling and getting.
Not removed me from it - just given me an anchor amongst it all.
I say I’m lucky because I look around and I see so many people look for security in places where there is none, really.
Their perspective is all out of whack.
They hunt for security and constancy in places where by definition there is only change and unpredictability.
People think a good job means security.
Yet my Dad went through 3 redundancies back in the 1980s - and now it’s zero hours contracts.
Do you see what I mean?
Ask the partner who's just been cheated on and had no idea. Ask the family whose house just got wrecked in an earthquake. Ask the stockbroker who just saw her investments die in a crash.
I’m not saying don’t play in these worlds, I’m not saying don’t invest or save or get married and work at it or take pride in your house, I’m saying know that nothing is certain, nothing is really secure in the places most people try to find it.
And when you work that out, you're a little bit freer from the dependency on the outside world.
Because it allows you to look for security and certainty in the one place that can’t be taken from you - within.
An inward “gaze” helps because you start to find true security.
You realise that the only secure thing not the what of your life, but the how - how you live, how you respond, how you choose.
When you look after the how you start to become more aware of the constancy of your own existence.
The fact that your awareness has been constant since before you were born, and will stay constant for a great deal yet.
Base your life in that and you’ll find true certainty.
If you’d like help with that - I have just what you need right here to get started:
Just ask - I’d love to help.
I’m away on an extended trip into the Italian Alps, with a little trip to Venice for some culture.
Hooray for me I hear you say.
I won’t be writing as much as usual - but if you do need anything, just email.
I’m sure they’ll have internet goats up there.
They may be a little slower, but we'll get there.