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Tribute to Zarah

That moment when you give good advice to a friend and as soon as you speak out the wise words – oh my Buddha, where do they keep coming from? – suddenly it strikes you. You realise “hmm, this is actually about me!”

Perhaps the good advice you give to someone else is just a reflection of what you need to learn yourself. Because in the end you’re just looking at your own movie of life.

So yeah, it happens to me regularly. That if I’m really honest and sincere and I took a good look in the mirror, I can’t help but admit that the good advice is intended for me. Or at least that there’s a lesson in it for me as well. It helps me to explore the secrets of life. Bit by bit, step by step and one insight at a time.

This is what happend to me recently. Holy guacamole. The life lessons I want to teach my one year old god child that are actually about me.

Little princess – we’ll call her Zarah, because that’s her name after all – is standing. She can put herself in a standing position. It’s a little wobbly, but it’s a perfect start. She is not taking any steps yet. Great. As a good auntie I can put some philosophical, didactical frosting on this amazing milestone.

Life lesson #1 – The dance of life

Dearest Zarah, to make progress in life, you have to start taking steps. Forward, backward, sideways. It doesn’t matter. Step by step you will get there. But remember when you take two steps forward and one step back, we call this the cha-cha-cha. The pessimists and realists of this world will try to make you believe this is regression. Whatever you do, dearest Zarah, don’t ever believe them!

Life lesson #2 – Making progress in silence

Let’s get you acquainted with the complexity and paradoxes of life (you don’t have to pronounce these words correctly yet. We can practice on this a bit!). The next brilliant insight: You don’t always have to take steps to make progress. You can also choose to mark time and stay put. Being mindfully present in the moment. If you then turn your awareness inside, we call it meditation. This can also help you further in life, so you actually are making progress.

Life lesson #3 – The circle is round

To add a little to the confusion: If we want to be mindfully present in the moment, ironically we normally do this in a sitting position, for example in lotus pose. However, there is also a walking variant. This is called walking meditation. With walking meditation you actually do take steps. And this brings us back to life lesson #1.

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