Our conditioned mind tells us that we are missing something grand
Images of delightful experiences dance seductively in our heads
“If only we had the time” we sigh “life would be so good and happy”.
And then our attention returns to the fullness of the moment
and we realize we are here, and there is nothing else to do and nowhere else to be.
All the tastes and textures of life are here to be experienced now.
There is no other time.
There is no other place.
William and Nancy Martin, The Caregivers Tao Te Ching
Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention: mangoes, grandnieces, Bach, ponds. This happens more often when we have as little expectation as possible. If you say, “Well, that’s pretty much what I thought I’d see,” you are in trouble. At that point you have to ask yourself why you are even here. […] Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time. Let it be. Unto us, so much is given. We just have to be open for business.
Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers
Early morning on the River Barrow at Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow
We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us.
Sir Thomas Browne, 1605 – 1682, Religio Medici 15
photo from judesphotography.wordpress.com
The weekend allows us place the emphasis on being rather than doing. The mild autumn weather this year allows us do that in the sunshine and under the trees:
The dream of my life
Is to lie down by a slow river
And stare at the light in the trees –
To learn something by being nothing
A little while but the rich
Lens of attention
Mary Oliver, Entering the Kingdom
photo: Lehava activity 2013 Pikiwiki Israel
Most of us find it easier to extend compassion towards others than towards ourselves and our own mistakes. We can be our own biggest critics which just intensifies our preoccupation with “ourselves” as something fixed and needing to be improved.
Most of the shadows of this life
are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the morning when you wake up, reflect on the day ahead and aspire to use it to keep a wide-open heart and mind. At the end of the day, before going to sleep, think over what you’ve done. If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that. If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance. This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion.