Trying and searching and wanting

Trying and searching and wanting

I am sitting on my balcony. It is spring and there is a little bit of heat in the sun. The balcony looks out over a road. The road is usually busy… an endless stream of trucks and cars but right now there is no traffic. Everyone is self-isolating. The machine has stopped. It feels strange. Peaceful. I can hear different birds… the wren, the blackbird, the robin. A blue tit is flitting from one branch to the next. Life goes on. I could sit here all day.

“Don’t try”. Those are the two simple words of advice offered by the poet Charles Bukowski.

It jars for most people to receive that advice… especially those of us who want a better world.

I have been stuck in a cycle of “trying” for a while now and I see a lot of it in the world







Trying and searching and wanting.

Trying and searching and wanting.

Everywhere I look people, including me, are rushing to the next moment.

I know that 99% of people probably won’t resonate with what I’m going to say. They might think that I’m an idiot and that this piece is a cop out.

Not trying is seen as the “worst”.

It means that you are lazy and you don’t care.

It means that you settle.

It means that you do nothing.

It means that you are part of the problem.

It means that you are helpless.

Trying and searching and wanting.

Is that really true?

I don’t think so.

Does the oak tree try?

No. It just is.

Does the oak tree do nothing?

No. It just is.

Why is it that we humans are always trying and searching and wanting?

Don’t rush. Close your eyes and sit with that question for a moment.

Why are you always trying and searching and wanting?




I just sat with it and here’s what I feel.

Maybe you feel differently and that’s ok.

Trying and searching and wanting.

I try and search and want because at the root of it there is a sense that the present moment, “now”, is not ok.

There is an underlying restlessness and there is self-centred narcissism that always want’s more.

More knowledge.

More impact.

More acknowledgement.

More people agreeing with me.

More people telling me I’m great.

More distraction.

More security.

This is hard for me to admit but if I’m honest whenever I “try and search and want”, nothing I do is truly selfless.

There is no love.

There is always a hidden self-centred motivation. I am part of the problem.

It’s funny because when I don’t try. When I am truly open and aware and responsive, everything I do is selfless.

I just do it.




Slow down.

Let go.


Just take a breath.

Open to this moment as it is.

You are alive.

Don’t try to be present.

Don’t try to still your mind.

Don’t try to change anything.

What does it feel like when you stop rushing to the next moment?

Allow this moment to be ok, as it is.

Don’t just read these words.

Look away from the screen for a moment and see for yourself.

What do you feel?




Maybe you feel numb at first?

Maybe you feel more?

Maybe you feel sadness?

A lump in your throat?

Maybe there is also a feeling of peace and openness and release?

Maybe you feel insecure and anxious?

Maybe there is love?

Right now can you just sit with what is?

To me it feels like a fist that has been tightly clenched for a long time, slowly opening and softening.

Maybe, sometimes, something new emerges?

A new way of seeing things.

An insight.


Wise action.

You can’t try to make something new emerge though!

I always fall back into that trap.

Always trying.

That’s what Bukowski meant.

Get out of the way and stop trying.

Maybe that’s what the world needs right now?

I have a feeling that if there was less trying and searching and wanting the more beautiful world we imagine would emerge by itself.

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