I can, of course, only speak for myself, but in my years of practicing Zen, one of the lessons I have to relearn and relearn is taking time to appreciate the reality of this moment. Sounds easy, right? Oh so wrong…
As I sit here writing this, I pause and expand my awareness beyond my computer/phone… What is my reality of now?
Although I’m writing this blog post, there are a hat-full of other tasks I need to accomplish. Yes, and there is also my body. I’m feeling warm, comfortable. The overhead fan creates a breeze that I feel on my skin, also it makes a whirling sound. I hear Herman in another part of the house and wonder what he’s doing. Outside the picture window to my left is nature, humming birds hovering over of the cactus blooms.
I pause with a blank mind to take it all in—no, much more—to become the actual reality of this particular moment. Try it; it’s kind of cool.
As I go through my day, I’m often stressed because of all the things that need doing. I worry about how things will unfold in the future, and sometimes procrastinate because I’m simply overwhelmed by everything I need to accomplish. I sometimes feel like I’m not good enough, especially when I compare myself to others. And I frequently replay and replay conversations that have already happened, wishing I done/said something differently.
But all that self-induced stress is BS. The reality of this specific moment is that I’m okay. Better than okay. I’m aware of everything around me and I’m living exactly the life I wish to lead. How can I ask for more than that? Anytime I fully become the moment, I become grateful.
The particulars of this moment will only come together now. This combination of sounds, colors, shapes, and smells around me will never happen again. This moment, how my body feels and what my mind is contemplating, is profoundly unique.
The environment and we are changing all the time. We like to think of ourselves as static, but we all change, physically and mentally, with each breath we take. It’s unavoidable. I am a different person than the “I” that woke up three hours ago, because various actions and thoughts interacted with me to change me in many small ways. By the time you finish reading this post, you will have changed. The you that exists right now will never exist again. Ever.
I think the ever-changing, impermanent nature of the all nature is the only truth. Each moment is a fluid snapshot of impermanent changing entities, interacting with each other.
I have to keep telling myself that the reality of this moment will never come again. Don’t miss it.
When I do that, become the moment, I relax into a soothing awareness of what is around me, and also of who I am. You might want to give it a try from time to time. Throughout your day, as you worry about this and that, and lose yourself in that long list of tasks, ask yourself. “What is the reality of right now?”
Once you start doing it, it becomes addictive.