Every piece of writing requires an introduction. Often one feels compelled to write when something big happens and my situation is no different. This is especially true when a medical situation arises and triggers a whole host of uncertainty and other emotions. For me, on March 30th everything changed; not a death sentence but a random, and scary turn of events nonetheless. This particular situation however, is not the focus in this blog/online journal.
Instead I am attempting here the exploration of living mindfully and in the moment. Change is always happening and our bodies do what they do. Its more about how we approach it, how we work with it rather than our reactions and our tendency to push unpleasant situations away. This is the focus; it is my musings on living mindfully and in the moment even when our minds spend a lot of time in the past and the future. This is about listening to and working with what is and the various ways in which mindfulness, meditation, and focusing intersects with life.
As Steven Levine retells:
Once someone asked a well-known Thai meditation master, “In this world where everything changes, where nothing remains the same, where loss and grief are inherent in our very coming into existence, how can there be any happiness? How can we find security when we see that we can’t count on anything being the way we want it to be?” The teacher, looking compassionately at this fellow, held up a drinking glass that had been given to him earlier in the morning and said, “You see this goblet? For me this glass is already broken. I enjoy it. I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on a shelf and the wind knocks it over, or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that this glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious. Every moment is just as it is, and nothing need be otherwise.
When we recognize that, just like the glass, our body is already broken, that indeed we are already dead, then life becomes precious, and we open to it just as it is, in the moment it is occurring. When we understand that all our loved ones are already dead — our children, our mates, our friends — how precious they become. How little fear can interpose; how little doubt can estrange us. When you live your life as though you’re already dead, life takes on new meaning. Each moment becomes a whole lifetime, a universe unto itself.”
Quote From: Levine, Stephen, and Ondrea Levine. Who Dies? : An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying. Bath: Gateway Books, 1986, pg. 98.