September 8, 2022

I stare at the blank page & wonder where to begin. The old axiom : “Begin at the beginning” echoes around my mind. So, that’s where we’ll start : at the start.

We might think that the beginning of a spiritual practice begins when we take the first lesson from a teacher or sensei (the previous link in a chain of which you’re the next link). Or, when we sit down on our zafu, chair, or our own legs. When we close our eyes & take that first precious breath – that first step on our own Path.

But, as I often try to subtly hint to anyone within earshot : examine the reasons that brought you here.

Why do you want the things that you want?

Why do we want to remember things that we already know, deep inside?

Why am I listening to this guy?

“Why?” – this is the real question.

And the answer (which will sustain you – through the ups & downs, through the plateaus, the recalibrations, the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and eternities) IS the motivation.

Even if the answer is vague.

Even if it changes over time.

Even if it grows as we do.

Even as we learn to focus on & enjoy the journey – rather than a destination or goal.

The quest for the answer (or answers) is often what drives us in the beginning.


Take a moment & put a hand over the center of your sternum (in the center of your chest).

Go ahead – I’ll wait…

Now, close your eyes.

Breathe slowly & deeply – without forcing anything.

Allow your awareness to drop into the center of your chest.

No forcing.

No control.

Just allow.

And breathe.

When you find yourself there…

Pose the question : “Why?”

It could be : “Why the hell am I doing this?”

Or : “Why do I want to do this?”

Or even : “Why don’t I know what I want?”

Don’t force an answer.

Don’t manipulate your thoughts to get to the answer that you think you want.

Just breathe.

Let go.

Open up.



I really can’t tell you what you’ll find – when the answer does come.

But, come it will. In its own time. And whatever you do find – that’s YOUR motivation.

That’s your “Why”. And, it may be something seemingly selfish. Or, it may be something that could benefit others. It may be 100% altruistic & saintly. Or, it could be a mix of all of these. You might even find that what helps yourself can help others. And/or vice-versa.

(My beginner’s mind had a mix of : “I want to help my brother find alternate methods of controlling his diabetes.” / “I want to learn how to manage my own mind/emotions/destiny/etc.” / “I want to figure out what the heck I really want in life.” / “The Mountain is there, so I must climb it.”)

But, whatever you do find – live it.

Let it be your credo.

Don’t focus on the mindset that doesn’t have it. The one that has to strive & fight to get it. Do try to remember that you already have everything that you need (sometimes we just need reminding).

Be It.

And then : close you eyes, take your first breath, and take that first brave step onto your Path.

Confident in the knowledge that you know why you’re walking it & where you’re going.

Many Blessings.

Paul Densmore

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