The easiest way to be present is by letting your mind go blank. Musicians and artists talk about being in a state of ‘flow’, the perfect balance between discipline and surrender. You can cultivate this by chanting a mantra, meditating, exercising or just going for a walk. When I go on my solo travels I very rarely have a plan or a route that I stick to. I put on my headphones and wander the streets with a camera in hand. Sometimes I can walk for hours without anything catching my eye and yet each moment is so rich in experience that words simply cannot do it justice. This is the state of walking bliss. When the internal monologue is switched off and you let yourself just be. When you’re not worrying about the past or anxious about the future. Simply appreciating the infinite beauty of our world, the complexities of a flower petal or the perfect symmetry of a cathedral. In these fleeting moments life is full of mystery and you feel one with the universe. Even for a brief moment everything is perfect.
Lo! I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.
In youth I sought the prince of men,
Captain in cosmic wars,
Our Titan, even the weeds would show
Defiant, to the stars.
But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.
In youth I sought the golden flower
Hidden in wood or wold,
But I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold.
G. K. Chesterton
EVERY PERSON IS A BOOK
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