Two Buddhist monks are sitting side by side while meditating on the side of a river. The older and wiser monk finally says to the younger monk, who has a look of dismay on his face, “Nothing else happens. This is it.”
I have already lived a longer life than many people and I am hoping it will be even longer. One of the ironies of life is that even if it is tough, people still cling to it and few let go of it without a fight. Since I was a young man I have been very introspective. It is part of my nature. Anyone who spends a lot of time in introspection routinely wonders “Is this it”? Since life can often seem like little more than toil and struggle we are sometimes afraid “this is it”. What gives meaning and purpose to our lives? Many people would say love but there are many people who don’t feel a lot of love in their lives and sometimes the people we do love drive us crazy. Other people would say a sense of purpose is what gives meaning to our lives. Most people would say that working takes up much of their time. Does your work give you a sense of purpose and meaning? Would you do what you do if there was no paycheck attached to it? I didn’t think so. I don’t know about the rest of you but I think my problem is that I am an idealist and my expectations of life are so high that I am constantly disappointed. My advice is to have low expectations. If you do you will be surprised more than you will be disappointed. In spite of some disappointment, I still love life and I do have great moments. When they come I try not to cling to them. I try to enjoy them for as long as they last. However, just all bad things eventually pass, good things pass as well. Even when life seems boring and uneventful or you’re happy and content, it is always changing. Often the changes of life are so subtle we don’t notice them until we suddenly realize we are five years down the road. I have spent a lifetime searching and being on a quest. I’m sorry to report that I still do not have the answers to the meaning of life. It is very possible that nothing else happens. We’ll see….
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