第2回:〜 人生は経験を積む人のためにある 〜


The Mindful Living Series

“What is the most bewildering thing in Life?” asked the Yaksha spirit Crane of the noble Prince Yudhishtra. The Prince meditated upon this question carefully for if he wished to save his brothers, there was no room for error.

And then it came to him: “The most bewildering thing is that even though every day one sees countless living entities dying, he still acts and thinks as if he will live forever.”

These words of the Pandava Prince from the Yaksha Prashna episode of the great Indian epic the Mahabaratha are a stern reminder that life is here to be lived and that each breath is precious. But do we live our lives this way? Do we spend time the way we really want to and make choices freely? Or do we get caught up blindly in the race, trapped in our comfort zones?

These thoughts began to consume me while in undergrad studies. 

“Why do so many of us seem to continue to do what we do unquestioningly?”

Just look around at the many different ways to live represented even just in your community, nevermind around the country or the world.  Convenience store owners have a certain way of life quite distinct from farmers. Construction workers, healthcare givers, homemakers, peacekeepers, fishermen, teachers, professional athletes and musicians all spend their days in their own unique ways. For every 100 people there are, no doubt, 100 different ways to live.

The way we choose to spend our leisure time is no different. I happened to be born in Canada and, not so surprisingly, found myself engrossed in playing ice hockey for most of the first 18 years of my life. If you were born into a family that did tea ceremony or were sculptors or perhaps hiking enthusiasts, your choices were most likely very different. 

During a recent executive wellness retreat in Canada, a senior lawyer and founder of his own law firm made a comment along these lines.  He said that he knew from the age of 5 he would be a lawyer. It turns out that a parent had commented that he would make a great lawyer given his propensity for arguing. And just like that, the seed was planted! 

What seeds were explicitly planted in you when you were just a child? And which ones were planted unbeknownst to your younger self? 

Knowingly or, more likely, unknowingly, we gravitate towards that which is already comfortable or known – the family business or career paths our parents chose, the sports or games our classmates at school play, the travel destinations chosen by our friends and colleagues or seen on social media. Take a moment now to look at yourself and see if there is truth in this statement for you.

To know ourselves and our real wishes, however, we may need to look a little deeper and around different corners.  Meeting people outside of our circles and traveling and living in other countries are clearly some of the quickest ways to see other ways to live and to be exposed to options and ideas we never knew existed. This may seem obvious but so does eating right, exercising regularly and sleeping enough. But if there’s one thing that human beings have proven time and time again, is that just because something is obviously good for us, doesn’t mean we actually do it. We need reminders and we need support.

Until I moved to the island of Miyakojima, home of the strong man triathlon, I had never really thought about training for let alone entering a triathlon. But now that my eyes have been opened to this new, exciting possibility, I can’t ignore it!

Life is a TRY-ATHAlon


We need to put real effort into venturing out from the comfort of what is known and easy in order to see all of the possibilities that exist. This is hard enough on its own to break the inertia ( think about how much effort it takes just to sit with decent posture!). It’s even harder if those around are not supportive. And, it absolutely can get harder as we get older and more entrenched in our ways of spending time. So…


NOW is the time.  Start today. The sooner you break old patterns, the easier it gets. And ‘practice makes perfect’ so what is it you are practicing? Old, unconscious patterns or new, conscious, healthy ones?  Remember, all it takes is a spark, a moment of realization or inspiration to change your life!

Tadartha eva dṛśyasyātmā**

The apparent universe exists to serve the Experiencer

Life is here for us to experience. But if our eyes are not open, if we do not at times push against the gravitational forces that keep us in a particular orbit or set of orbits (or perhaps suck us into the vortex!), we never get to experience other types of inspiration. And these experiences may reveal to us a different part of ourselves; through them, we get to know ourselves better.

Let this be a reminder to explore and challenge yourself, to find gateways into a world that may feed you in a very different way. And, once you find that door, don’t forget to walk through!


But the story doesn’t end there. The first part of the journey is this search and that requires trying. The search brings us closer to realizing we are subject to our conditioning and, as an extension of that conditioning, our own narratives; the funny stories our minds keep running through like the scene of a movie on loop. But at some point, the search ends and we start to accept; accept ourselves for who we are, others for who they are and life for whatever it is. Once at this point, there is no more a need to try or at least not in the same way. There is only acceptance and, hopefully, an alertness to catch ourselves when acceptance flickers and fades and we get sucked back into our narratives!

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”

~The Talmud

*ATHA is the Sanskrit word for ‘now’

**Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.21

The Mindful Living Series(マインドフルな生き方シリーズ)




A: 世界中のどこかで毎日誰かが命を落とし、この世を去ります。それはいつか自分にも訪れるもの。しかし私たちは、それを自分事とするのをつい忘れてしまうのです。それこそがこの世の不思議というものです。



















Tadartha eva dṛśyasyātmā**

〜 世の中は経験を積む人に応えるためにある 〜





We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are

~The Talmud