15 November 2011

Looking Up

There was something about the moment that called for a walk, but when I started walking, all I could do was think.  About what I needed to get done, should get done, didn't do... my mind was frantically untying and retying knots.

But then, standing at the intersection of NW 11th and Burnside, staring at the big sign for Powell's City of Books, waiting for the always slow walk-sign to change, I realized that I was absent from the moment, from living.  So, I took a breath.  And then, as always happens when I take such a moment, I looked up.


Do you do that?

I find that when I look up, I see wonderful, soul-filling things.  Things like leaves fluttering on tree branches and falling down; people talking and holding hands; the wind coming up the street from the river.


This is what everyone is talking about with mindfulness and living in the moment. It is not about letting go of the future, but rather connecting with the flow of life. Living in your life rather than living in your mind.


It's about noticing small things.  And the feeling of noticing something and thinking, "I would have missed that.  I almost missed that!" And the that being a few scattered leaves swirling along the street in an autumn breeze.


For as simple as these moments are, they are not easy to come by.  Initially.  It takes practice, and it takes knowing how to be quiet, how to lean into the moment.


It's not about finding the perfect moment, but about finding the perfection that is already in the moment, the life that is flowing there.


And all it takes is that breath, those first tries at letting go.  Let go, look up, let go, look up.  Keep trying, keep trying, keep trying. Don't give up yourself, or on someone else, or on life.

As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says:

Never give up.

No matter what is going on
Never give up.

Develop the heart.
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart.
Develop the heart.

Be compassionate.

Not just with your friends
But with everyone.

Be compassionate.

Work for peace.

In your heart
And in the world.
Work for peace.

And I say again,
Never give up.
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up.


Give looking up a try this week, see what you can see. Let life fill your heart.
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