“This is my secret,” he said. “I don’t mind what happens.”
From an essay by Eckhart Tolle posted on Awakin.org
Discussing this passage at the Jun 10 Silicon Valley Awakin Circle, we reflected on the many challenges and paradoxes of following this simple wisdom.
The following week, on the third day of my road trip, I woke up with a start. As I lay in the sleeping bag in my tent at Castle Crags State Park near Mount Shasta, the light told me it was almost dawn. My skin felt strange, like there were crawling insects. Not possible, I told myself. This is a tight new tent, and everything is zipped up. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t, and the feeling kept getting stronger.
Then I turned on the flashlight. Ants! Everywhere! Hundreds of them! Thousands of them! All over the tent, in the sleeping bag, all over me! What do I do now?
For a brief moment, I just sat there, watching it all. Then I recalled Krishnamurti’s words: “I don’t mind what happens.”
All of a sudden I burst out laughing. “Hey, don’t mind me!” I said in a loud voice. “I’m cool! Just come in and do your thing!”
But as I started swatting the ants off my arms and legs, face and scalp, and watched in fascination as more and more of them swarmed into the tent, I was still left with the question, what do I do now?
I thought back to the Awakin Circle and remembered something that Ted, the guy sitting next to me, said. “Accepting a situation doesn’t mean just being passive. I think it also means accepting that I do what is appropriate.”
Fifteen minutes later I had managed to remove myself and all my stuff from the tent. People at the next camp site later told me that they saw me wildly jumping up and down, hands full of paper towels, swatting at the tent and scattering ants in all directions, yelling at the top of my lungs: “This is my tent, My Tent, MY TENT!!!”
They seemed a little concerned about me.
I just looked at them. “What would YOU do?” I said.