Resisting what I experience diminishes my vitality?

Commentary by José Parés Pérez. Concepción, Chile.

I think that a magnificent way of spreading the wonderful consequences of the practice of attention to the present is by sharing the experiences that one has had while practicing it.

My work until a few years ago was that of a chemical engineer with a dedication that always made me exceed the normal working hours.

My motivation was born of a natural and profound pleasure in that profession and, especially, in the love of teaching.

The exhaustion, a natural cause of the age, brought about a profound change. I started searching for other ways to be of help.

Many times I surprised myself by regretting not being aware of the issues that mattered to those around me. You see so much suffering, so much distress, so much anxiety.

My own longing for work after so much life dedicated to the job led me to take up painting, carpentry and reading in order to seek peace and information about what happens inside us, about who we are.

It was not long before I learned about the attention to the present moment and its principal educator:

The Canary Association for the Development of Health through Attention to the Present.

There I understood that in myself, in my turf, and not in the maps that the culture has put at my disposal, exists everything I need to live. By practicing attention to the present during these past few years, I have recovered my vitality and a motivation that fills me with energy to live who I am.

Like every other human being, I have also had my share of difficult times and I have come out of those by understanding that I myself had provoked them by not accepting reality. Often in my life, I understand now, I used to resist feeling fear and anxiety because I did not like feeling that way, I rejected what I felt. Feeling that and much more is a part of life. If I can observe myself, acknowledge what I am feeling, I can understand that I have created it with my own thoughts. Acknowledging that is the beginning of the end of my suffering.

Today, it gives me immense pleasure to be able to help others through reflections and pleasing conversations because I talk about the issues that matter in life. A work that fills my time with harmony, coherence and peace.