Of all the challenges I face each day, living in the moment is probably the most difficult.  I know that I should be savoring each evanescent nanosecond that races through my life, but the truth is too much of the time I'm somewhere other than here.  No matter where my body is, my mind is somewhere else.  Westerners are good at not living in the moment.  In fact, they are specialists at living somewhere other than here.

Cellular telephones and I-Pods fit nicely into Somewhere Other Than Here Societies.  In these societies you can't tell where people are.  Their body may be in Boston, but their mind can be anywhere.  Walk down any street, and you'll see dozens of people plugged in to other worlds.  Whether they are talking on their cell phone or listening to music doesn't matter.  What counts is they aren't with you in your world.


Folks talking on cell phones while driving cars routinely ram other vehicles, because their mind is in a different place than their car.  They are somewhere other than here.


Try having a conversation with people who are listening to music through headphones.  You can't tell whether the person is paying attention to you as their head bobs right and left and up and down.  I don't mind people listening to music, but for heavens sake, shed those headphones while you're talking to me.  I want to know that I'm actually having a conversation with someone who is in my world.

Cell phones and I-pods aren't evil.  They merely illustrate how easy it is to become a member of a Somewhere Other Than Here Society.  The more time you spend in Somewhere Other Than Here, the less time you spend living in the moment.

The picture at top of this page was taken from the summit of a volcano on Graciosa Island in the Canaries.  As I look down, I have a choice.  I can bop along the volcano's crest with music blaring in my headphones, or I can shed the headgear and listen to the crashing surf below.  I can hear and feel the howling high altitude winds buffeting me at the top, or I can plug in my headphones and miss it all.  While there's nothing wrong with enjoying my favorite tunes on the summit of old smoky, why not spend a few minutes focusing on the things found only at the volcano's peak.  Surely there must be something unique about the summit that you can savor.

Sailing offshore in a yacht makes it easier to live in the moment.  You are so in tune with the wind and waves that even a slight change in sea state immediately grabs your attention; it will wake you up out of a deep sleep.  That's how single-handed sailors keep their boat moving around the clock.  They obviously have to sleep some time, and because they are living totally in the moment, they automatically wake up if anything is amiss.  If they're not in the moment as they sail across the Pacific, they may not make it to the other side.  Living in the moment keeps them from falling overboard.  Real mariners don't wear headphones when they go forward to make sail changes, because they want to live to see another day.  Mindful sailors are survivors. 


When I'm at sea, living in the moment means I am paying attention to what I am doing and what my boat is doing.  I live each day in a mindful manner.  I enjoy the sun when it peeks over the horizon and lights up my world.  The morning sky tells me what the weather will be like that day.  Each wave passing under my hull has a message.  Large rolling swells that shouldn't be there tell me there's a distant storm churning away and throwing off swells in my direction.  The familiar sound of creaking timber tells me that all is well onboard, and new sounds that I've never heard before tell me to investigate their source because something is different on Exit Only and I need to know it's not a problem.  Mindful living is part and parcel of the offshore sailor's life; it gives him the upper hand in his sometimes uneasy truce with a wily sea.

I suspect that the farther you are from metropolis, the easier it is to live in a mindful manner.  Out on the sea you live in a private world, and it's quiet in the sense that there are no man-made sounds blaring in your ears.

In metropolis every restaurant and department store pumps sound into your head, because they want you to buy what they are selling.  When there's music bouncing around inside your head, it pushes buttons that suspend your good judgment, and you impulsively buy things you don't really need.  They don't want you to have a silent shopping or dining experience, because they want to control you by putting exciting sounds in your ears.  This isn't some type of sinister plot that's trying to take over your life.  All they want is your money, and it's basically harmless, except that it contributes to mindless living.

Unconscious living is typical in Somewhere Other Than Here Societies.  Living in metropolis is an uphill struggle if you want to live in a mindful manner.  There's too much noise, too many bright lights, too much hustle and bustle, too much time spent listening to I-pods and talking on cell phones.  All of these forces conspire to prevent you from living in the moment.


The big problem with living somewhere other than here is that you miss out on your life.  You have a tangential existence that experiences real life for only milliseconds before you head off again to some place other than here.  That may be ok for you, but it doesn't work for me.

As for me and my boat, we are going to live in the moment.  Once in a while I'll listen to some I-tunes, and I'll answer the cell phone when it rings, but I've got my feet firmly planted in the real world, and that's exactly where I'm going to stay.  This moment is all I really have, and I'm going to immerse myself in it.


When I live in the moment, life is good.

Log 1 Peter Pan Around the World
Log 2 Weapons of Mackerel Destruction
Log 3 Pirates of the Malacca Straits
Log 4 Kissing Cobras
Log 5 Debriosaurus Rex
Log 6 Go Ahead - Live Your Dreams

Log 7 The Man Who Built His House on a Rock
Log 8 Ambivalent Eagles
Log 9 One-Shovel Full at a Time
Log 10 Hitchhiker's Guide to Planet Earth

Log 11 Keeshond

Log 12 The Red Sea Blues

Log 13 Feel the Freedom

Log 14 The Danger Zone

Log 15 Lucky Man
Log 16 Dream Machines - Land Rover Defenders

Log 17 Trade Wind Dreams
Log 18 Logs With Fins
Log 19 Everywhere, Everything
Log 20 Shark Slayer Is History

Log 21 Viking Funeral - Burial at Sea
Log 22 Improbable and Impossible

Log 23 Keep on Trucking
Log 24 Dream Machines II
Log 25 Bodysurfing Whales
Log 26 Hitting the Wall
Log 27 Surviving the Savage Seas

Log 28 The Next Step
Log 29 Welcome to Barbados
Log 30 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Log 31 The Man with the Unplan
Log 32 Dali Dolphins
Log 33 Flying Like a Turtle
Log 34 The Foolish Man Built His House on a Pitch Lake
Log 35 Go West Young Man
Log 36 Crossing the Atlantic in a Row Boat
Log 37 The Unsinkable HMS Diamond Rock
Log 38 Catamaran Capsize in 170 mph Winds
Log 39 When Are You Coming Home?

Log 40 Master and Commander of Anegada - Frigate Birds
Log 41 Baths of Virgin Gorda - Batholiths of Central Arabia

Log 42 Free at Last
Log 43 Stalking the Wild Manatee

Log 44 Spreaderman
Log 45 Attack of the Flesh Eating Bees
Log 46 Sharks and Coconuts
Log 47 Stingray Picnic
Log 48 Boo Boo Hill
Log 49 Whale Slayers
Log 50 Noddies (Not Naughty)


Log 51 Exumas Land and Sea Park
Log 52 David and Goliath
Log 53 Turquoise Clouds of Paradise

Log 54 Momma Nightjar
Log 55 Maximillian The Great
Log 56 Chiton Kingdom
Log 57 Flying and Holding On
Log 58 Far Horizons
Log 59 Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend
Log 60 Getting Connected
Log 61 Fear
Log 62 Grand Schemes and Other Important Things
Log 63 If Jellyfish Had a Brain
Log 64 Cousins That Don't Kiss
Log 65 Swimming With Sharks
Log 66 Perfect the Way You Are
Log 67 Space Travelers
Log 68 Aliens
Log 69 Monsters of the Mind
Log 70 My Butterfly Collection
Log 71 Somewhere Other Than Here Societies
Log 72 Five-Hundred Pound Spiders
Log 73 Red Sea Sunsets
Log 74 Gibraltar Sunrise
Log 75 Big Sea - Small Ship
Log 76 Just Cruising
Log 77 Castle Mania
Log 78 You Must Know the Sea
Log 79 Flying Like a Goat
Log 80 The Joy of Photography
Log 81 Universal Camouflage
Log 82 My Rainbow Collection
Log 83 Indian Ocean Reward
Log 84 Fiber W
Log 85 Turkish Reflections
Log 86 Mirrors and Mirages
Log 87 Lycean Tombs Rock
Log 88 Rigging Emergency
Log 89 Pamukkale
Log 90 Volcano Land
Log 91 Sniffing the Air
Log 92 Why I Don't Kite Surf
Log 93 Resurrecting Exit Only in Turkey
Log 94 Greased Pole Competition
Log 95 Tsunami Damage
Log 96 Afraid of Living
Log 97 Living on the Edge
Log 98 Borneo Adventure
Log 99 Uligamu Tree Tender with Full Benefits
Log 100 God's Fireworks Display

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This web site is a companion to Outback and Beyond.com.