Living Longer

(This was from a Jon Kabat-Zinn video. I transcribed this segment, which means that any mistakes are mine alone, he’s not responsible.)

Meditation is about living your life as if it really matters in the only time you’ll ever have. If you want more moments—if you want to live longer—the more moments you’re present for, the longer your life is. If you go on autopilot for ten years and miss what’s most important and most beautiful in your life, time goes by very quickly—and all of a sudden—whoops, how did this happen?

But you’d know what happened, if you’d been paying attention from moment to moment. And not only that, you can change the future . . . In my experience the only way you can change the future is by inhabiting the present. If you inhabit the present, the next moment, the future, is already different because you’re already here for this one. If you’re out to lunch for this one, it’s going to color the next one, more likely than not.

So if we really want to change the future, the only thing you can really do is own your life in the moment that you have. That is a huge, what I call orthogonal rotation in consciousness. Nothing changed—you’re still the same schlub you were before—except that you’re awake. And that exception is enormous. . . .

That’s what this is about:  it’s about waking up from the somnabulence of automatic pilot. That has implications for learning, growing, healing, transformation, education—for virtually every human endeavor, because each of our endeavors, and the energy we bring to it, is no better than the quality of our attention, and the awareness that we can mobilize and embrace it.

(I’m going to be returning to Kabat-Zinn a bunch)

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