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All I daydream about is here right now

All I daydream about is here right now

Melbourne Beach, Florida.
I would say to myself, “If I was there I would be happy.” (Photo by Daniel Piraino

Back before I found Buddhism I would daydream about being somewhere else, anywhere else but here in prison. I would imagine being on a beach or in a cabin in the woods. I would say to myself, “If I was there I would be happy.”

Now, looking back on those daydreams, I realize that no matter where I go, I would be there. Unhappy here—unhappy anywhere.

But I did stop and wonder what my daily routine would be in those daydreams. I imagined getting up in the morning and having a quiet cup of coffee, a long hot shower, morning meditation, a long walk, being part of a sangha, having precious teachers, a Dharma practice, a weekly book study with a friend, going to Buddhist services, hearing guest speakers, writing my sister and talking to her on my birthday!

STOP! I don’t need to be anywhere else to do these things. I can do these things right here, right now. Matter of fact, I was already doing these things. I just needed to be more present, thankful and mindful.

So I began being more mindful of these things that I enjoy doing. I say to myself, “No matter where I am right now, this is what I would like to be doing.”

This gave me a feeling of freedom and less desire to be anywhere else. The more mindful and more thankful I am, the more contentment I feel. Even though I’m experiencing the pain of ripening karma, I can still relieve my suffering.

Even when I brush my teeth or do other daily life activities, I try to remember to be mindful and thankful. It relieves so much grasping and aversion and I reduce my suffering in my life. I hope that knowing this can help others reduce their suffering and have more contentment too.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.

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