Monday, July 23, 2012

Wherever you go [out], there you are?

Alan Watts (1966) lamented that we don’t learn to be in the present; that our entire education is focused on preparing us for the future, instead of showing us how to live in the now.

I figure that going out in Italy is one way to learn.

Italian and Kiwi friends and I were laughing about the cultural difference of going out, and what was, and for me still is, an adjustment, to what it is to socialise in Italy.

In NZ, Australia, UK or US, going out is about going to a particular location, having a destination, finding a place and settling in, probably staying in the same spot all night.

In Italy though, going out is just that: you go out. It’s what is happening in this moment that counts; not some past or future state or location.

The essence is, I think, captured in the title of one of my favourite mindfulness books* “Wherever you go, there you are”.

It is no use asking “where are we going?”

If you are out, you are out. It’s already happening.  You are already there. It’s simple.  

It might involve walking around; it might involve going from place to place; it might involve being in a bar, without a drink, just being there; it may involve standing in the middle of the street talking for hours or more...

Si, che sarà, sarà. Yes what will be, will be.


Watts, A. (1966) The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Pantheon Books, US

* Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994) Wherever you go there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion – referred to in four previous posts, namely: what bella italia?;   And what about kindness?; Are you trapped in theturbulence?; How mindful are you? 

Post dedicated to the arrival of the very special Kiwi-Italian Alessandro into our lives.

Image: own

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