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Living This Life Fully

Living This Life Fully

Recently, Dean Crabb a.k.a. Jagaro generously hosted a double book give-away on his blog themindfulmoment.com/. He asked readers to express what “living this life fully” means. The variety of responses left me reflecting on how differently people understand the same words. I was impressed by the thoughtfulness of those who sent in an answer. A few people even expressed themselves through poetry. Although there could be only two winners, I feel that everyone is a winner, simply because each person took time to consider this concept.

When someone asked Munindra, “What is the Dharma?” he would answer, “The Dharma is living the life fully.” If we turn the question around and ask, “What is living this life fully?” Then we could easily say, “Living this life fully is the Dharma.” But that still doesn’t describe the details. Munindra explained them best in the way that he lived: with generosity, compassion, patience, determination, discernment, loving-kindness, mindfulness, equanimity, conviction, integrity, virtuous conduct, one-pointedness of mind, effort, curiosity, vigor, joy, and letting go.

Some people who sent comments to Jagaro touched on these qualities. For example, "Anonymous” wrote:

To live life fully is to live in the now,
No matter its joys or woes.
To be in the moment, not future or past,
Before your eyes finally close.

To love being human, to laugh at this all,
We’re here one moment then gone....

Munindra certainly loved being alive. He was lighthearted and laughed easily while living each moment mindfully, no matter what he was engaged in doing.

Candle Summers offered the following: “Living life fully means receiving what life presents joyously and with compassion. Finding ways to live with equanimity so that the mind doesn’t fall into extremes, and touching peace by letting go completely.” Munindra did receive what life presented to him with joy and equipoise. He knew how to let go of unwholesome states and cultivate wholesome ones, even in the face of physical and emotional suffering. Once, when a student told him he had a bad headache, Munindra encouraged him to keep practicing: “I hope you’re enjoying it.” He wasn’t being flippant or uncaring about the man’s condition. Rather, he meant, I hope you’re curious about your experience, remaining present with and learning from it.

Ity Sofer summed this up: “To live life fully means to experience the ever changing nature of the body and mind, allowing past conditionings to arise and pass away, without clinging or aversion, realizing by it that there is no ‘I’. This freedom, being in each moment aware and equanimous, with loving-kindness to all, is to live life fully.”

I bet that Munindra would agree.

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