Trey Ratcliff

Photo Credit: Trey Ratcliff

Make Yourself at Home in the Unknown

  • Dzigar Kongtrul

We are most at home in our own home.  We have arranged everything according to our preferences.  And when we come home from dinner at a friend’s, or the movie theater, we know exactly where everything is.  Because we feel at home in our home, we also give ourselves permission to relax.  We may leave our socks on the floor or a glass by the sink unwashed.  For many of us, even if our home is simple, or small, it represents comfort and security.

Last year my teenage daughter and I arrived in Naples, Italy.  We had never been there before and had no idea what to expect.  We didn’t know the layout of the city.  We didn’t know where to eat. We didn’t speak Italian.  We found the train station and took a train to the ruins at Pompeii.  When we got off the train, we had no idea which way to walk. Everything we saw was new and unexpected.  When you go on a trip like this, you can have an adventure, because wherever you go is the unknown.  So you become curious, attentive, interested, and open to new experiences.

Yet each day of our life is really unknown, even if we are at home or going to work.  We don’t know what’s going to happen.  We don’t know what surprises await us.  We don’t truly know how the day will unfold.  If we could view each day as an adventure, we could naturally become curious, attentive, interested and open to new experiences.  But, too often, our experience is just the opposite.  We encounter something unexpected and became tense, stressed and uncomfortable.

If we can think of our home as something beyond the building we live in we might be able to relax into our adventure like it was a trip to Naples or Pompeii.  Our life is like a mystery novel.  What will happen next?  We don’t know.  Let’s just sit back and see what the next page will reveal.  Let’s find a way to enjoy life without knowing how the story will end.

(This is an excerpt from Gregg Krech’s upcoming book, Maxims to Meet Life’s Challenges, which will be released by the end of September.)

Author Bio

Gregg Krech

Gregg Krech Author, Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-reflection (2002)| Author, A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness (2004, 2011)| Author, A Finger Pointing to the Moon (2000)| Editor, Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living (1993-Present)| Director, ToDo Institute (Vermont) (1992-Pr......

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6 Comments

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  1. Don Rigg 2 years ago

    I always look forward to receiving the messages from you. And I am always appreciative of the wisdom, knowledge, and common sense that you share.
    Thank you very much.

    • Author
      Gregg Krech 2 years ago

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Don.

  2. Author
    Gregg Krech 2 years ago

    Thank you, Joan, Carole, and Chris,

    This post, based on “Make Yourself at Home in the Unknown,” is from a small book I’m putting together consisting of maxims that I have been using in teaching Japanese Psychology. A second book — a collection of writings from other people on their experience with Naikan — should also be available in the next few months. I’m very happy to be able to share both of these publications with the world.

    Best wishes,
    Gregg

  3. Carole Serling 2 years ago

    Hi Gregg,
    I’m looking forward to your next book release. I know there will be a lot of wisdom and practical suggestions which will enhance many lives in positive ways.
    I always enjoy receiving the emails from ToDo and the Thirty Thousand Days publications in particular. I always learn something I can use right away in my daily life. Thank you.

  4. Chris 2 years ago

    A new book is great news! Looking forward to it!

  5. Joan Courtney 2 years ago

    I can hardly wait for your new book to come out, Gregg.
    Your thoughts and concepts have changed so many lives here in the White Mountains of Arizona.
    We’re ready for the next opening.
    Wishing you the best,
    Joan

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