Perhaps after happiness – security, certainty, and safety are the things we most want. Yet imagine a story of a character whose life was secure, certain, and safe. Nothing could be more boring.
Living an adventure is stressful, unpredictable, uncertain, and risky. Adventures are often unsafe. But they make for a good story. The first stories, the myths and legends of various cultures, are nearly all adventures.
Our own stories are full of adventure. Those parts of our lives that stick with us the most are those ordeals we’ve passed through, particularly those we shared with friends and family. They are often transformative: we learn from them, and are changed by them. They bind us together with a particulare imprimatur. We are marked.
So how can we learn to ride the waves of adventure, the uncertain chaos of an ordeal, in such a way that we enjoy it? Because in this world we live in, there is no escape from it. Change and volatility come in ever more frequent and more violent waves. And if we can learn to ride these waves, we can trade the sameness and boredom of a safe and secure life for the transformative variety and challenge of an adventure.
Fortune favors the prepared mind – Louis Pasteur. Our practice can stretch us and strengthen us across all the domains of life. Our practice can still the silent screams of our anxious and fearful mind. Our practice can empart to us the gifts of confidence, courage, and the determination to persevere. Our practice can teach us the balance to stand upon our board on tall waves that cast us in shadow, and propel us at breathtaking speed.