Thursday, October 9, 2008

Be mindful

Ahh, the hurry of a late morning.

I slept in. All the way to 6:45! Yippeee! Seldom do it and I always rejoice when I do!

Except. I am teaching a class at 9am. Which means. I'm in a rush.

Pressed for time, I search my mind for words to type. Yet, it is not the searching that brings them forth. It is the being in the flow. Being connected to the world around me, to the creative consciousness that imbues each breath with spirit.

In Zen, there is a concept that encourages practitioners to be mindful, to find the zen in every moment. As Alan Watts wrote, "Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes."

This morning, I didn't meditate before writing. At least, not my normal, sit quietly and empty my mind kind of meditation. Because I'm pressed for time, I knew I had to make each moment count. So, I chose to be mindful while letting the dogs out, feeding them and making coffee. I was mindful of my actions. Of the motions. Of the sensations. The cheery wave of Ellie's tail. The crisp smell of the fall air. Its cool caress for that brief moment I stood in the doorway, welcoming me into the morning light breaking upon the horizon. The hum of the furnace. The feel of Mollie's fur when I picked her up and gave her a hug. Her wiggly body. Happy pants. The rustle of the dog food when I dug the cup into the tub. The sound when I dropped it into the dog's dishes, like falling stones in a pond. Ellie's large chunks heavy and ponderous against the ceramic of her bowl. No bounce in their fall, just a quiet rolling into place. Mollie's light, popping up and down as they hit the metal sides of the dish. The rich, robust aroma of grinding coffee. The sound of the blades whirring. The sound of steam rising within the cappuccino machine. The gurgle of water heating up, cheerfully calling me to wake-up. Get excited. Get in action.

I could go on. It is the thing about mindfulness. There is beauty in every sound. Every movement. Every sensation. There is Zen.

My world is filled with beauty. I just have to stop and listen. To be mindful of it. To be aware.

Like life, the world around me calls me for my attention. So often, I wander through it, eyes half closed, ears shut off, touch shut down. So often, I ignore the moment in anticipation of the next.

For today, I commit to walking through my day, alive with every moment, aware of every atom of my being to the beauty of my world.

The question is: What about you? What will you be mindful of today?

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