A Moment of Living in the Moment
I am writing this post with fast and furious fingers and sweaty palms, quite possibly from my morning coffee or the bright spring sunshine walloping all of Seattle right now. I am also experiencing a ginormous sense of overwhelm. Not overwhelm in the common sense of being eaten alive by to-do lists, but overwhelm in the sense of the feeling you get while standing in front of a vast blue ocean or a tall green mountain, and witnessing something very big and powerful.
Those of you that know me know that I am into this “sitting thing”. I usually say that “I sit”, and not “I meditate”, because sitting is a more accurate description of what really happens. I sit. And then I think about a hundred and one things that I should be doing, or the things I did and all the things I will do or want to do. It’s elusive, that quiet meditative mind.
And yet. And yet. Something interesting happened to me this morning. Shinzen Young talks about this phenomenon in his lectures The Science of Enlightenment. You do this thing called meditation. You *try* desperately to meditate. You pay good money to go on meditation retreats. When you come back and tell your friends what happen, they wonder if you’ve lost your mind for paying good money to go somewhere to “sit around all day”.
You might start to wonder the same thing. You might blow off sitting once, or twice, or altogether. Or you put it off, thinking, “I’ll do it tomorrow”.
But, by hooks or by crooks, by some miracle, or by some clever tricks, as Shinzen said, “if you can’t be disciplined, be clever.”, you sit, and you sit regularly, day after day, month after month. You start to see glimpses of what it means to live in the moment. You look at the world like a goldfish with that proverbial 3-second memory, or the proverbial curious cat that acts like it’s seeing everything for the first time, sniffing it, exploring it.
And boy, is it grand when it happens. It happens very fast, and it does not last.
But, no matter how fleeting, no matter how swift that moment comes and goes, it blows you away. All of the sudden, you start to understand that big word impermanence. You start to see the joys and the sorrows. I’m not even talking theory and hypotheses here. Those things happen right in front of your eyes, as if on cue. It’s very creepy.
(No, the irony does not escape me to reminisce the moment of “living in the moment”, but it must be captured and recorded somehow :D)
What am I trying to say? If you are engaged in this practice, this yoga thing, this meditation thing, this, dare I say it, getting in touch with your spirit thing. Trust the process. Really. Trust it even when you are weary and full of doubt. And get clever. Trick yourself into practicing when you least feel like it, on the cushion, on the mat, in the grocery line, or in traffic jam.
It will not give you a mountain of gold, it will not instantly make all your troubles go away. It will not automatically rid you of your destructive habits and general life shenanigans. It will not make you taller and turn you into a baller and give you a girl that you could call her.
I honestly can’t even tell you exactly what it will bring to you, because it would be arrogant of me to claim to know what *you* personally experience. What I can arrogantly claim, however, is that life is always coming together and falling apart at the same time. There will be so much joy, and so much sorrow. And there are no words to describe what it’s like, when you are in what they call the Witness state. Something this morning put me in an incredibly clear mind to see both, like a jolt of lighting or a flash of shooting star. To put it plainly, it scared me, it overwhelmed and amazed me, and it humbles me like nothing ever before.
I will say this, admittedly with a lot of caution and hesitation. I am beginning to see what Vyaas Houston talks about in The Certainty of Freedom.
In the meantime, I hope you dance.