Western laziness consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time left to confront the real issues.

This saying, by Sogyal Rinpoche, is one of my favorites.
I discovered it years ago when I turned a page of a daily calendar.
‘Active laziness’ Rinpoche also calls it. The Deliberately Making Sure We’re Busy sort of life, ensuring we can pay our bills; yet leaving little room for the true challenges we evolve on.

I frequently repeat Rinpoche’s wisdom since I discovered the quote; but did I learn and live by it?
Did I change my ways where it concerns full agenda’s, pressing meetings and the ‘so many things still to do’ ?
Well to be honest… I live my life very much like a modern day Westerner.
There is always an agenda, always an itinerary, always something to work towards, always an organization behind the ventures I undertake, leaving little time for creative spontaneity or flashes of insight.

400px-Snake_SkinEven a so-called adventurous 3-day camel tour into the desert I once made, was all guided by local Bedouins holding the reigns of our camels, while others drove ahead by jeep, to set up our tent at the predestined place where we were to camp for the night. Even our dinner was ferried up and down from base camp in the evening. It was a very Western way to do a desert trip. We were entertained. An ‘all inclusive’ holiday.

Yet the most profound experience I had during that trip was when I woke up in the Bedouin tent after our first night in the desert and ventured out for an early morning walk while everyone else was still asleep.

I couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes away from the tent when the hills and rocks took the civilized world out of my view. Soon I was completely disoriented and slightly panicked.
Then I saw a snake and broke out into a sweat, quickly followed by relief when I determined it was only a snake’s skin that had been shed, to then have it occur to me that since there was a skin; there would also be a snake. I froze on the spot.
I don’t know how long stood there, box-ticking the consequences of my actions, wondering
what it would be like to die of snake-poisoning to feeling this utter sensation of having to totally depend on myself.

Whenever I think back of that holiday; I think of my moment with the snake skin, the moment that wasn’t scheduled; where I found myself on my own, with a wide range of possibilities to decide from.
In retrospect, it was a moment, where I had the world at my feet, an expression we often use without grasping its true meaning.

XXI. The World
In the Nan Yar – Who Am I personal development cards, the number XXI card ‘The World’ signifies the total of everything:

  • The Physical Path, the life we live on Earth
  • The Soul Journey. the lessons we live on Earth
  • The Spiritual Journey, that makes us part of Earth, the Universe.

The world is ours when we take the time to explore it, next to using it as a playground for our daily logistics. Click the The World Card to read more or go to the blog: The Storyteller in The World.


Ingrid Schippers, Easter 2016



This blog is recorded as weekly end-note of Dutchbuzz.nl, the radio program for internationals on Den Haag FM,
broadcasted on Tuesdays from 10 to 11 pm. All programs are archived at Dutchbuzz.nl.
‘The World at my Feet’ is filed in the podcast of April 5 2016