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Today I would like to share some thoughts about fulfillment. When I was much younger I was looking for happiness, or whatever I thought passed for happiness. Actually I think I was seeking money, position and love. What every red-blooded American guy wants, right?

Now as I enter my 7th decade, I’m more interested in fulfillment. For me the term fulfillment means to be filled up, fully satisfied. Fulfillment means

  • Scratching my furrball Toby’s belly when he rolls on his back or
  • Watching my granddaughters catch fireflies as the sun drops down under the horizon or
  • Drinking coffee with my friends John and David

Life is more precious to me now, as I acknowledge my days are coming to an end.  Over the years, my life has been informed by my Zen practice; I’ve sat zazen with more than 20 Zen teachers, founded or co-founded three practice centers, and received permission to serve as a chaplain for the dying and their families. I no longer feel isolated and alone. I experience my interconnectedness with the whole of life and the Great Mystery that permeates throughout the Universe.

While occasionally I can still be hard on myself for decisions made, actions I regret, I can let go of the past. I accept the past. I accept the future. I cannot predict what will happen five years from now, one year from now, 10 minutes from now. Past, present and future are all one continuous NOW and I flow within the current.

I’m now more able to accept myself as I am. I know it’s not selfish to serve myself while serving others. The great key to fulfillment, it seems to me, lies in my hard- won willingness to surrender to just this moment, to open to that and to serve as a channel for helping others. Whatever we call that, be it God, Buddha or the Divine Feminine, doesn’t seem to matter. What matters is that we drop our agendas and listen to the voice within us.

Please see see John Craig’s video on fulfillment below, featuring myself.

Fulfillment, by John Craig