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    “The address (2020) of the holy, the enlightened is ‘here and now’



    by Armando Vazquez

    “The address of the holy and the enlightened is ‘here and now’. This is the address of happiness, the address of life, the address to your God. The Buddha (El Savio) said, ‘Life is accessible only in the present moment.’ Life with all its wonders is accessible right now. So we train, practice and work in coming back to the present moment through the day, a day at a time, a moment at a time. When you are sitting on your meditation position, you are established in the present moment. At that moment, you touch life deeply. During walking/running meditation, you do the same thing. Each step brings you back to your true home, the home of your spiritual ancestors-the present moment. It is in the present moment that life, peace, joy, happiness, and well-being are possible.” 

    Thich Nhat Hanh


    Like the ocean waves that never rest I don’t know where I got the all-consuming energy, dedication and desire to workout HARD in all my athletic endeavours. It has been with me all my life. I was just a little kid of about 6 or 7 years of age running up and down the hellish foreboding desolate lomas de la Colonia Hidalgo on the outskirts of Tijuana. Then I ran, always ran on the school yard and streets of El Monte when we immigrated to the United States in the late 1950’s. I have been running ever since, closing in on my 70th birthday.

    I never, ever, liked, much less enjoyed the blood, sweat, pain and tears that went along with  “breaking down my body to build it back up again” as the jock mantra goes. Very early on I promised myself that my workout/run would be the hardest thing that I would face all day. Self-imposed pained discipline and no punking out ever! I never got “runner’s high”, it was always about breaking down walls of fear, pain and limitations imposed by the stubborn and undisciplined mind.

    Then late this year 2019 came my latest gut wrenching obstacle and life drama; the realization and acceptance of the complete and total loss of a future home for the Café on A/The Acuna Art Gallery & Cultural Center in Oxnard. I had to put my philosophy into action or wilt and die. So I took to the hills of Santa Maria and Orcutt, to reconnect and mediate with my ancestors, seeking out counsel, solutions and advice. I was rejuvenated and transformed, running now toward solutions and peace.

    Running has now is my late in life become my meditation, my rejuvenation, and salvation. I was always running from the real demons of hunger, injustice, and poverty and toward something that my youth could not yet fully envision, a blurred promise of something better in life was what drove me.  I felt compelled to control my brain and the body would follow.  One of my first rules of rigorous workout training that I developed as a young kid was; I stop for no one and nothing can stop me!  That rule has served me well in all my life.  I have been lucky enough to run in the most beautiful place; along the beaches of California and all of Mexico, and now in the holy hills of Orcutt. I am at home with my holy and enlightened ancestors.


    Armando Vazquez, M.Ed.  is Executive Director of  Acuna Art Gallery/Café on A, Executive Director for The KEYS Leadership Academy and Chairman of the Oxnard Multicultural Mental Health/coalition


    The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

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    Citizen Reporter
    2 years ago

    Good advice. Happy new year, Armando! Praying to God would be good, too.

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