Any moment, however simple, can be transformative – it all depends on the quality of our attention.
By stopping and paying attention to some of the everyday aspects of our existence, we can wake up to every unique moment of our lives: the particular expression on our child’s face as we say goodbye in the morning, the way the wind blows the sycamore trees on this day compared to others…..
The beauty of life is in the day-do-day details that we can miss when we forget to stop and observe what is before us in each new moment. From the perspective of mindfulness, every moment has value and is worthy of being present to. When we practice the art of stopping, we can enjoy the blessings of nature that are always on our doorstep. We must simply take the time to stop and listen, open our eyes and our senses, and cease being consumed by our tumble dryer of thoughts.
Mark Coleman, Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery
“Enlightenment is like the moon reflected in a dewdrop on a blade of grass. The moon does not get wet, nor is the drop of water broken.
And the whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in even one drop of water”. Dogen,
In truth, the smallest stem of a damaged heart, like a single blade of grass, holds the essence of everything alive.
Enlightenment is the kiss of anything – moon, storm, or kindness – that opens us to that essence.
Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
The earthquake shakes you awake, and then that’s sort of the big spiritual question: How do you stay awake? …
The other question is: Why has everything we’ve ever been told about human nature misled us about what happens in these moments?
Our breathing is a stable solid ground that we can take refuge in. Regardless of our internal weather – our thoughts, emotions and perceptions- our breathing is always with us like a faithful friend. Whenever we feel carried away, or sunken in a deep emotion, or scattered in worries and projects, we return to our breathing to collect and anchor our mind.
We feel the flow of air coming in and going out of our nose. We feel how light and natural, how calm and peaceful our breathing functions. At any time, we can return to this peaceful source of life.
We may like to recite: “Breathing in I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out I know that I am breathing out.”
We do not need to control our breath. Feel the breath as it actually is. It may be long or short, deep or shallow. Conscious breathing is the key to uniting body and mind and bringing the energy of mindfulness into everyday life.
Thich Nhat Hahn
Blossoms in full bloom at the moment, but their beauty only lasts for about a week. In Japanese, the term used for passing beauty is 儚い (hakanai), meaning “fleeting” or “fragile”, reminding us to fully inhabit each moment without holding onto it
Better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things
than to live as hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.
The Dhammapada, 8, 113
The Buddha taught his students to develop a power of love so strong that the mind becomes like space that cannot be tainted. If someone throws paint, it is not the air that will change color. Space will not hold the paint; it will not grasp it in any way. Only the walls, the barriers to space, can be affected by the paint. The Buddha taught his students to develop a power of love so strong that their minds become like a pure, flowing river that cannot be burned. No matter what kind of material is thrown into it, it will not burn. Many experiences – good, bad, and indifferent – are thrown into the flowing river of our lives, but we are not burned, owing to the power of the love in our hearts
Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness