Look at life through the lens of clock time.
Each day, we have 24 hours. On average, we sleep for 7. During the 17 remaining hours, we eat for maybe one hour, do cleaning and chores for two, and work for seven, leaving 7 hours’ discretionary time. Most of this discretionary time is between 6pm and 11pm.
It is very easy to spend our discretionary time watching TV, or browsing social media. If we do this, then essentially our day is decided for us.
Where are the choices? Where is the freedom?
Once we are in a steady job, how can we regard ourselves as free beings? Where is the exploration, the adventure, the spiritual growth?
Even if we live by routine, the choices, surely, are in our awareness. We can decide whether we choose to be selfish, narrow-minded and unhappy; or selfless, wise and happy.
Two people can live the same external life, and one can be unhappy, and the other happy. We each walk the same path, but we each choose our boots – the awareness with which we walk it.
The small miracle is that, when we change our awareness, our external life does often change anyway, and choices become possible.
This morning, I woke up into the same world I always wake up into. And now I am living the same appointments, the same meals, the same conversations.
There is nothing wrong with living like this. It’s normal. Even an animal wakes up, lives its usual day, and then sleeps again.
Life is in the depth of awareness with which we live this life. We do not have to change very much to become enlightened. We simply have to change the motivation with which we live.
Instead of fighting to preserve an imaginary self that does not really exist, we can relax about ourselves and try to help others reduce their suffering.
Instead of only looking narrowly at our environment, we can realise that we are part of a universe so wide that we cannot comprehend it.
Today, while I do my usual things, am I going to be self-defensive and shallow, or compassionate and wise?
If I live with compassion and wisdom, perhaps I will not only be happier, but freedoms will appear which I did not anticipate.