Living in the Moment

In my daily meditations, I use a book titled “Awakenings: Asian Wisdom for Everyday.” The book contains a beautiful photo and an accompanying bit of wisdom for each day of the year. Prior to meditating each morning, I read the saying for the day and contemplate the message during my meditation.

Yesterday it was:

The actions of our daily life

like waking, washing, lighting incense

do not seem very important,

but they comprise the whole cosmos.

by Master Taisen Deshimaru

“Good message,” I thought. I meditated on it. “OK, now back to work. God, I have so much to do today. Better get some of this little stuff done. Gotta make the bed and take a shower. Need to do some grocery shopping. Should try to get to a Yoga class. If I can just get some of this stuff out of the way my day will be better.”

Today was pretty much the same. Make the bed, raise the shades, open the blinds, clean the bathroom, do the laundry, take the garbage out. “I really should make time to meditate,” I thought.” As I walked over to the kitchen counter, my mind was filled with the ‘stuff’ I had to get out of the way before my day could begin. I turned the page of my meditation book to read:

In our daily actions,

let us concentrate on details with great care and attention,

let us make this an ingrained habit for the behavior of our bodies and minds,

like protecting a newborn child.

by Master Taisen Deshimaru

Suddenly, I got it! I spend so much time trying to get things done so my day can begin, when in reality, these things I must do each day are my life. Rather than living in the moment, I am focused on how things will be once I do this or do that. I need to change the way I look at things, to be fully present in every action. Opening the blinds each morning is not a task to be scratched off a list, it as an action that allows the sunshine to stream into my apartment. Doing the laundry provides clean, fresh smelling clothes for me to wear. Preparing food is not an activity that must be ‘gotten through,’ it is a joyful activity that nourishes my body and keeps me healthy.

How can I NOT have seen this before now? If I can change the way I look at these small tasks I perform each day, if I can honor everything I do, much of the stress I feel will drain away. This is my newest goal – to be fully present and mindful as I walk through each day.

2 thoughts on “Living in the Moment”

  1. I love this post, Barbara. How wonderful it is to be “Present”, there is no fear, no sadness, just pure “Acceptance”, pure “Process”. Oh, if we could only remember to do this all the time, but then we would be Tibetan monks I guess. PBS


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