Be Present, It Will Change

As a child, I was taught that if I wanted something to be different I needed to change it, and if I didn’t do anything things would just stay the same. These lessons still seem to be true but there is a problem. I don’t know what’s best for me. I can identify a problem, decide on a new direction, and change things to point in this new direction, but since I can’t intellectually identify the best direction, my guidance is always a little bit off. I end up spending lots of energy to merely aim from one side of the target to the other.

This doesn’t mean I should do nothing. In the past it always seemed like an either or decision, but if I do nothing I’m bound to suffer through the same entrenched patterns. Instead, Vipassana teaches us to observe the present moment, and this process will lead our lives to change. Up to this point, I’ve observed meditation purifying my mind, but witnessing it purifying my path still seems illogical. How is it possible that this mental exercise can literally impact my path and the world around me? It just doesn’t make sense.

But my experience tells me differently. When I meditate, opportunities seem to present themselves at the right time. Whether it’s the right job, the right people, or the right opportunity, everything seems to enter my life at the right time if I’m simply patient enough to let dhamma work. It almost seems irresponsible to just let go in this way, but maybe that’s what we’re supposed to do. Maybe we simply trust dhamma. Time to meditate.

This entry was posted in Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

One thought on “Be Present, It Will Change

  1. It is probably just as well to trust Dhamma, but seems to me there is rationality here too. I think when you live in this Dhamma-mode with less anxiety and sense of driven-ness, you just create space around yourself for things to work out. That equanimity and confidence radiates into others around you and they respond. There’s this whole theory of convergence or resonance – that how we are resonates with those around us – that provides at least the bare outlines of a scientific framework for how this could work. However it works, it works!


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