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5 Responses to Contact

  1. Dear Mr. Gallwey,

    I read your book “The Inner Game of Tennis” about 12 years ago, and it had a profound influence on my life (as well as improved my tennis game after one reading over about 3 evenings.) I appreciate all of your work. I recently wrote a short essay called “Living in the Moment for Real,” and I would be honored if you read it.

    Sincerely,

    Gary Halperin
    http://www.feelbetternowyoga.com

    Living in the Moment for Real

    It has been said so many times and in so many ways–the key to your happiness is to live in the moment, to be present. That paying attention to whatever you are doing while you are doing it, practicing mindfulness, is a path to contentment.

    I think there may be an additional mindset that you can add to the practice of being present that might unlock a deeper happiness and acceptance of life. This mindset is the understanding, the knowing for real, that whatever you are doing is as good a path to happiness as anything else you might be doing in each and every moment.

    My normal, rote way of doing tasks I don’t like, such as washing dishes, cleaning the house, or changing a diaper, is to do them as fast as I can in an effort to get to do something I want to do as quickly as possible.

    I might practice mindfulness while doing these tasks as quickly as possible, but I have an unconscious belief that what I am going to do next will be more enjoyable. However, that belief is not reality. In fact, I don’t know what I am going to do next. I might have plans, I might think I know, but life can intervene in infinite ways.

    For example, I might be washing dishes as quickly as possible because I think when I am done I am going to watch a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game on TV, or I wash the dishes as fast as possible because I unconsciously think that what I am going to do next will be better because I am going to choose what I do.

    However, while I am doing the dishes, maybe one of my daughters needs an immediate diaper change, or a squabble breaks out between two of my daughters, or I stub my toe while walking to the TV. Or something much worse could happen. Only God knows.

    When my life does not go as I consciously or unconsciously planned, I feel stress. So all day I am setting myself up for a lot of moments of unhappiness.

    This dichotomy–this tension– between the unconscious thought that “when I am finished with all that I have to do and get to do what I want to do, then I will feel better” with the reality that many times I will feel worse when I get done with a task because a new task has presented itself, has been the source of much of the stress in my daily life. (You might want to read the previous sentence again. It is long, kind of a run on sentence, but I think it makes sense.)

    I am learning to practice a new approach: that when I am doing something I do not want to do, such as washing dishes, I have no expectation that what I am going to do next will be any more fun or better. I recognize that I truly do not know what I am going to do in the next moment.

    Circumstances can change, and I might stop doing dishes and do something else, or I might do something after I am done with the dishes that I had not originally planned in my head consciously or unconsciously.

    I believe the rote behavior of doing things I don’t want to do as fast as possible is a never ending source of stress. However, by letting go of the expectation that my life will be better when I complete my in the moment to-do list, I realize there is nothing to be gained by rushing through any task. I can slow down AND be mindful of what I am doing and know that this moment is as good as it gets.

    I do not feel disappointment and resentment and stress when one of my daughters asks me for something just as I am finishing the dishes because I had no conscious or unconscious expectation that this was not going to happen.

    Now I am encountering life as it happens–truly practicing mindfulness without the expectation that the next moment will be better or worse. Now my thoughts are aligned with reality. Now I am Living in the Moment for Real.

    Or to put all this more succinctly, in each moment, all of us are one step away from both what we would initially perceive as a state ranging from a little more unhappiness to total disaster and a state ranging from a little more happiness to fulfilling our greatest desire. And our initial perception is just as likely to be wrong as right in both the short and long term–the results of any event in our lives are never all in. This is, I think, the most relaxing insight I have ever had.

  2. Hiren Shah says:

    I feel that this is one of the best books I have read in my life. Having written published articles on concentration and meditation in newspapers and magazines, I particularly liked the phrase about using Tennis for concentration instead of concentration for Tennis.

    I play Tennis everyday. We play doubles. I wanted to ask whether you have anything for improving placement while playing doubles sets. I know that one has to stop being judgemental, observe, program and let go but still wanted to know if there is anything in particular for placement.For improving footwork, one has to observe that I suppose-what should one imagine here?

    The second question is a little personal. Being a writer and a poet, my mind is flooded with thoughts as a result of which I cannot do things swiftly and smartly like normal human beings. You could say that I function like an absent minded professor. Even when my mind is relatively quiet, I still end up doing things clumsily with a lot of distraction. My father has the same problem. He is a chartered accountant and a superb thinker but he is also not a good doer at all and makes lots of mistakes while doing simple, simple things.

    Kindly let me know the answers to the above.

  3. Huw Owen says:

    Hi, the Contact form isn’t working. I’m getting the following error message. Thanks.

    “Could not read CAPTCHA token file.
    There is a problem with the directory /si-contact-form/captcha-secureimage/captcha-temp/.
    Directory Unwritable (fix permissions). Permissions are: 0755 Fixing this may require assigning 0755 permissions or higher (e.g. 0777 on some hosts. Try 0755 first, because 0777 is sometimes too much and will not work.) Fixing the actual problem is recommended, but you can uncheck this setting on the contact form options page: “Use CAPTCHA without PHP session” and the captcha will work this way just fine (as long as PHP sessions are working).
    CAPTCHA token file is missing.”

  4. admin says:

    Repaired form. Thanks for pointing this out. Should work for you now.

  5. Dean Watson says:

    Hi there,
    I’m just wondering if you have an email address I can send a letter to Timothy at? Whenever I try to send my message via this website, it comes up with: CAPTCHA Code: *
    Could not read CAPTCHA token file.
    There is a problem with the directory /si-contact-form/captcha-secureimage/captcha-temp/.
    Directory Unwritable (fix permissions). Permissions are: 0755 Fixing this may require assigning 0755 permissions or higher (e.g. 0777 on some hosts. Try 0755 first, because 0777 is sometimes too much and will not work.) Fixing the actual problem is recommended, but you can uncheck this setting on the contact form options page: “Use CAPTCHA without PHP session” and the captcha will work this way just fine (as long as PHP sessions are working).
    CAPTCHA token file is missing.

    Thanks,

    Dean

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