Unfolding insights

8 petals

Life is a bit like a jungle – it is lush, diverse and sometimes daunting. Amongst the biting ants and the thorns, there are also flowers. On my path, I have encountered a flower with eight insights. These insights appear in the book that I am currently re-reading; I have not yet fully put them into practice, nevertheless, they resonate with me and I would like to share them again here in my own words.

  1. Awareness is all we really have
    Call it being attentive, mindful, or awake – awareness is the essence of being present, alive, meeting reality and the now. The rest is mostly an illusion.
  2. Everything is impermanent and in flux
    Although it may not appear that way, nothing stays the same, change and evanescence are the main vectors of life.
  3. Focus requires undivided attention and space
    We can only do one thing at a time, avoiding distractions and giving something our full attention is the first step to doing our best.
  4. Thoughts and feelings get mistaken for reality
    There is a fictitious story constantly playing in our heads which we often think is real, the more we believe in the story, the more we clash with ‘what is’.
  5. Outcomes can be intended, not controlled
    In a sense we can never control people and circumstances, we can have intentions and work towards realising them, but reality will always turn out differently from what we imagined.
  6. The conditioned self can overpower intelligence
    There is a selfish, ignorant and limited part of us that often blinds us. It seeks security, and is governed by fear and unexamined conditioning; there is another part of us that has unlimited potential and is in touch with an implicate order and intelligence that we all have access to.
  7. The journey is as important as the destination
    We have a tendency to focus on achieving our goals and miss the richness found on the way.  There are lessons and gems in every corner.
  8. Life is precious, it is worth living it with purpose
    Life goes by very quickly, we tend to sweat the small stuff and much too often forget to enjoy our real life which is made up of every instant. We can be grateful, graceful in the present moment, and remember to focus on what is most important.

It is not easy to summarise insights – words have probably failed me – yet I hope I have captured the impression and the scent of these eight petals of wisdom. Although they are presented as facts – they are only observations and reflections – it is essential to question them for yourself and test their validity. Thus, the petals can become a tool for inquiry. I am currently writing a short book that explores how these insights can be integrated into our daily life through simple tools and practices. I will keep you posted of my progress. Meanwhile, I would be curious to hear from other insights that you may have encountered in your own lives. Thank you for sharing.


Photo: Mark Pearson