Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Take the One Seat

This phrase has been helping me stay focused. Jack Kornfield attributes it to his Buddhist teacher Achaan Chah as an encouragement to commit oneself to meditation. In that sense it is an admonition to literally sit on the seat of your meditation cushion. To me, however, it is also a reminder to figuratively take the one seat of my life, in the very center of my life, in the center of my being, in the center of all being. It is a more poetic way, perhaps, of following Stephen Covey’s advice: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

On the one seat, I am aligned, balanced, grounded, aware of what is important, not so distracted by the countless little things that yammer for my attention. Things that need to be taken care of get taken care of. I need not be concerned. I need not interfere (“enter fear”). I sit in trust, confident in the current of the universe to carry me along the watercourse way of perfect existence, knowing that existence can be nothing else but perfect.

It sounds sublime, and in a way it is, but it doesn’t always look that way. My life is no different from anyone’s. The laundry needs to be put away, a grandchild has a doctor appointment, a water pipe froze and broke, I don’t know what to have for dinner. But when I take the one seat, I feel less buffeted by the winds of everyday life. I feel more appreciative, marveling at the wonder of this amazing life, grateful for this moment and for every moment that led me to this one.

So take the one seat in the center of your life. Breathe. Pay attention. Love everything.

As I looked for an inspiring quote to end with, I found this one that made me laugh. So I’ll add after loving everything, don’t forget to laugh.

Football is the most important of the less important things in the world. ~Carlo Ancelotti

10 thoughts on “Take the One Seat”

  1. Esther Elizabeth

    Great blog
    I love this quote — Stephen Covey “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

  2. Christopher Martin

    I think we all find a way to that “one seat”. For me, it’s praying for that peace that surpasses understanding.

  3. Hi Galen,

    Don’t be shocked–it’s your old friend Beth here. Your post reaches deep into me where I’ve been holding so much tension and stress. In the midst of packing up our RV, leaving the camp host life, and moving into our new apartment–with all that ensues for two women in their 60s and their two aging dogs–I dropped a 10-pound decorative stone on my big toe.

    So here I sit with my broken toe in a boot, propped up, looking around at the chaos in our apartment and wondering what to do. So what do I do? I take a long, expansive breath and return to the one seat.

    Thank you, dear friend! Love you!

    1. Oh no! So sorry about your toe. I’ve been thinking about y’all and wondering how things were going. We’ll catch up soon. Love you too.

  4. David Burdick

    Your post beautifully emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and being present in our lives. It’s a reminder to focus on what truly matters, to appreciate the small wonders, and to face life’s challenges with a balanced perspective. And yes, laughter is indeed a vital ingredient in this journey.


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