A nice interview with me today in the Burlington Free Press.
I used to think that maturity was something that would suddenly happen to me. Sort of like a new pair of pants I would put on someday. I would suddenly change completely and all at once, I’d become a mature, wise adult.
Reality is that the only thing that really matters is how I act. Zen Buddhism believes that if we think hurtful thoughts, feel anger towards others, but ultimately act with compassion, than this is right action. If we think nice thoughts, have great intentions, but in the end harm others, it would be better than we never acted at all.
If I feel like a terrified, insecure child inside, the only thing that really distinguishes me from an actual child, besides the date on my birth certificate, is the willingness to choose how I act in any given moment. Maturity isn’t a change where we suddenly become someone different. We don’t stop feeling uncomfortable, insecure, scared, pissed off, and disappointed by things around us that we wish were different.
Maturity is the practice of noticing the things that go on inside ourselves, acknowledging them without judgement, and making the effort, over and over — from moment to moment — to not let those things rule how we show up in the world.
Satisfy minimal expectations, thwart all others.
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