The Way We Meet Endings Shapes the Way the Next Thing Begins

21 October 2022
A picture of a person wearing sunglasses in front of a graffity wall to show the empowerment of a life well-lived.
By Ben Schoelzel
As the soul and the brain of Samaṇa, Ben focuses on changing his being in the world via a 2-hour daily meditation practice, authentic relating and interpersonal meditation, as well as in an ongoing IFS-practice. He started writing poems in his teenage year and rediscovered his joy for writing with the newsletter and articles for Samaṇa.

Walking through the woods

Walking through the woods is an interesting experience. Often, one has at least a general notion of where to go. That mental map is somewhat relevant for the vicinity one is in but doesn't matter in terms of how to place each foot when taking a step.

Building an organization is a similar experience. I founded Deep Breath (the precursor to Samana) with a friend in summer 2020 simply because none of the alternatives were appealing: I was done with management consulting and the startup world and had no clue where to head - "what the map looked like". To stick to the forest analogy: I reduced my decision-making to simply one step at a time.
A picture of two barefood feet balancing on a lying trunk in the nature
Each "no" opens up endless "yes"

Focusing on one step at a time

Focusing on one step at a time is a wonderful activity and I'd highly encourage you to give it a try the next time you go for a walk! For me personally in terms of what to do with my life, it was also excruciating at times, such as stumbling through the forest after nightfall without a clear direction can be a harrowing experience!
I feel like that was also mirrored with Deep Breath: we tried out a lot of things, but nothing really took hold. At times, I was wondering whether we were too impatient or doing something else "wrong". All of this led to a lot of frustration and ultimately resignation.

Each "no" opens up endless "yes"

In early September 2022, I revisited my notes and came across Ken Wilber's Integral Theory, and it suddenly made sense: this theory had been with me for over a decade, but I hadn't really understood it. Now, looking at how he subsumes other theories and perspectives into a holistic picture, it clicked! All of the things we at Deep Breath had been working on in the past - including a large part of the things I had been doing my whole life - fit into this. All the learnings around what I like and dislike doing, came together to bring forth a new vision. A vision that I can finally feel passionate talking about. That I can share with others excitedly. I found the "map of the forest" again and we as a team started filling it in.

If you've ever wondered whether there's more to life ...

If you've ever wondered whether there's more to life than the 9 to 5, five days a week; if you ever felt the longing to go deeper but struggled making that happen; or if you are puzzled at the inaction of both - the unfolding ecological collapse as well as the charring injustice, inequality, and being fed up with our way of life - then Samaṇa might be interesting for you to check out.

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The information in this article is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult a professional for guidance about a specific condition.