Curiously Engaged

by Josh


My neighbor Jakob – curiously engaged

If you read last weeks guest post by my friend Scott, you saw how I praised him for being so engaged in life.
I think a lot of satisfaction in life boils down to your level of engagedness.
And I think a lot of it on how willing you are to be curiously engaged.
Now this can mean two things:

1. To be curiously engaged
2. To be curiously engaged

So being engaged in life has a lot to do with whether you are actually interested in the things that happen around you. In Zen Buddhism this is called Shoshin – the beginner’s mind. If you don’t take anything in your life for granted, you can be curiously engaged in anything, even your own hands for example.
Beginners mind decribes the keenness and eagerness of a beginner that is free of preconceived ideas.
There are so many wondrous things around you, just like Scotts puddle from last week.
To rejoice in these simple things means to be open and awake for the simple gifts that we receive on a daily basis.

A few weeks ago I went to a big German city. Wandering aimlessly, I decided to visit the highest point in town, which was the tower atop the castle.
When I reached the castle, slightly out of breath from the ascend, there was an elderly  man guarding the entrance to the tower. He informed me that I had to pay a fee and
wait for the next guided tour.
Hm. I didn’t have enough time, and I didnt want to pay.
But instead of walking off with an internal monologue about how unfair the world is, a piece of advice from Tynan crossed my mind; to treat strangers like friends.
And so, I engaged in a fun little conversaton with him and we shared a good laugh.
As I was about to leave, he smiled, and with a wink in his eye, he told me to just go.
Surprised and stoked, I started running up the old oak staricase.
As I took in the beautiful view over the old town, I was amazed by how much more I enjoyed because it was a present from this gentleman,
I was curiously engaged instead of listening to my internal state.

The word curious however, can also be paraphrased as weird, odd or eccentric.
And that’s the second part. A beginner always allows himself to look like a fool.
To get good at anything, you must be comfortable looking like a damn fool – even if you are a master at it. So often I am stopped by the notion that I need to figure certain things out or ask for help before I can get going.
To be curiously engaged means to be a happy weirdo who proactively tackles life one moment at a time.
At least that’s my two cents. What do you think?