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The sunrise early in the am as the light creates stars on the lake. The colorful flowers that greet me each morning as the birds sing their songs of praise.
When something triggers me to here and now. That could be deliberate eg meditation or just awareness. Or it could be an appreciation of something mundane or awesome or that the mundane is in fact awesome.
How we reflect and appreciate the gift of life most at times of death and loss.
“You taught me the courage of stars before you left
How light carries on endlessly, even after death
With shortness of breath
You explained the infinite
And how rare and beautiful it is to even exist
I couldn’t help but ask for you to say it all again
I tried to write it down, but I could never find a pen
I’d give anything to hear you say it one more time
That the universe was made just to be seen by my eyes.”
“Saturn” by Sleeping at Last
That is so beautiful. My husband didn’t say it with words but he provided me everything before he died, I miss him but appreciate everything he left for me. Everything that surrounds me today is his gift of love.
Thank you dearly, Lydia.
Waking up on a first, snowy “snow day.” The luxury of seeing the falling snow from my warm bed. Everything and everyone seems to get more quiet and still.
And the blanket of white snow creates beauty on everything: on houses, trees and cars in the parking lot…
It is -4C here. The sun is shining brightly on a few feet of light, fresh powder snow. It has stopped snowing, and is too cold for the snow to start melting, for now. It is quiet, peaceful, and a perfect time to move outside to savor the fresh air.
I think Mary Oliver was onto something …
Hearing the birds singing this morning. Have not heard them in awhile as it has been raining a lot here. It was a pleasant surprise to hear their chirping & singing. Joy in the morning…..❤️
When I reflect upon the numerous times I have been given grace; how its is an utter miracle for me to be alive considering the choices I have made in the past. Others have not been so lucky. Yet here I am, with a beautiful 5 year old son who is my sunshine and also a complete miracle and blessing. My life is full of beauty, despite my many hardships and tribulations– and I am grateful.
Today’s question reminds me of a quote from one of Emily Dickinson’s letters, “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”
What has helped me is to establish habits and practices, rituals if you will, that keep me grounded in the present moment. Noting the phases of the moon, hunting the wildflowers each season, growing things from seed, learning to identify (give attention to) the birds that frequent my backyard.
When I go about my daily routine, when I walk the same daily path again and again, I try and approach it with the mindset that within what seems like the very familiar, there is something new that can be discovered. Each moment is wholly unique in some way, each sunset or snowfall or summer thunderstorm, is something that will never appear or happen in quite the same way ever again. That adds a sense of novelty and possibility to the everyday, to the mundane.
Thanks Nicki. This resonates with me, touches on how it is for me. I’m glad to see how you describe it.
Pausing to be fully aware in the moment.
Looking at the sky and feeling the immensity.
Becoming aware of something about how my body works and being amazed at how seldom I need to think about it at all (I know I’m fortunate to have very good health).
Thinking about all the chances and odds, generation after generation from the beginning of life on Earth, that resulted in me being born.
Thank you, Barb C – I was thinking ‘clouds’ in answer to the question. I love watching them change, out my windows.
Plants growing in the spring, my children when they are sleeping, students who show great resilience
Witnessing the passage of time – a short month ago my Japanese maple tree had turned fire red for the fall , now it holds it’s last few leaves before standing bare. In a few more months it will light up again with its spring color and then settle into summers green. So I guess what I am trying to say is when I am fully alive and awake I notice life – the old, the young, the present that I am privileged to witness.
That makes sense!
Last Sunday, at the last family lunch, I was sitting next to my dad. He’s elderly. He pulls out his cell phone to show me what recipe he’s going to make next. I saw his hands shaking. He kept on talking but I mostly just focused on his hand. Instantly I got a little emotional, thinking “I still have you here. And being with you right now feels right. Nothing else in the world matters.” I love spending quality time with my dad.
Being present, I guess that is my answer for todays question, that kind of love. Not needing to grab hold of, worry or even express, just being present.
Thank you so much Nelson, for your reflection on the family lunch your Dad.
I have spent this week with my elderly father, and fly home today. I find it difficult to be with the feelings of being here with him, and knowing that this too shall pass. Perhaps I will focus on the very small moments, miracles and gifts he brings, just as you have done – to make it more manageable to take in. My Dad is remarkable in so many ways. Now seems a good time to take that in more deeply, breath by breath, and truly appreciate all that he is. Thank you!
I appreciate Christine’s reflection as well, that feelings help us open to the miracle of knowing that we are alive and that we exist.
Thanks, Nelson – I channel my dad as my hand shakes and struggles to do some small thing like threading a needle. His hands shook from such a long age, and it feels good to remember him when my hands shake.
What a wonderful moment to notice and fully inhabit.
Spending a moment with our elderly cat whose existence is impermanent, as is mine.
Breathing and walking and seeing and listening to the splendor and glory around me.
Moments of peace, like right now.
This new day…….
Sitting here, breathing in and out, how effortlessly it happens. And how if I focus on it, I can change it. Slow it down, speed it up.
I just turned around to peek out of the window I sit at every morning, and the orange color of dawn coming from behind the tall pines at the front of our property also remind me of this miracle of simply existing. The sun rises, moves over us, and sets every day. A simple miracle of perfect creation and existence.
Grateful for this question today!
Yesterday, it was my 5 year old granddaughter, with her energy, her delight in cutting paper and taping it together in different patterns, her chatter as she worked, narrating her imaginary stories. So “in the moment” where I want to be more often. Here. Just here – and delighted to be!
Patricia, that’s a beautiful moment, thank you for sharing.
I am reminded of the gift of simply existing when sitting quietly, motionless, along the ocean’s shoreline. There, eyes scanning, life abounds in shapes and sizes, feathered, flying above, shelled and barely moving below, as the chorus of pebbles and sand ripples to-and-fro with every crash of life giving surf. There, sitting, not talking, taking in I shrink and take my tiny place among the massive miracle about.
When I breathe mindfully and remember to simply Be.
Connecting to my body.
My feelings help me remember that I exist. Mourning, sadness, longing, pain of letting go, enormous love that burns in my heart.
I believe this has been my mood for the past few days. I know I will soon be in a good mood again. And then other feelings play a role, such as joy, love, seeing beauty, experiencing harmony.
I’m glad you posted your feelings, Christine. (((hug)))
Thank you, Holly. And a hug is flying to Ohio. For you. 💝🤗
emotions come and go, like clouds- I remember reading that and it’s so true:)
Thank You, Michele. And for me it is good to read it again. A hug for you, Michele 💞🤗
Michelle, I want to remember that – so true, as you say.
Sacredness of Life itself. Breathing. Heart beating. Awareness of Being. Presence.
Until I began meditating and following spiritual teachers like Tara Brach, Adyashanti and Joel S. Goldsmith I was not fully aware of my existence, strange as that may seem, I was unconscious spiritually. Now I see that to inhabit a body that came from a body that came from a body, back in time to the beginning is astonishing, miraculous.
Adyashanti! I first met him in Santa Barbara where he was giving a weekend workshop, hours after giving away my beloved dog because I would be moving across the country.
He’s still one of my favorite teachers. He’s taking a year’s sabbatical at the moment and his lovely wife, Mukti as head teacher is leading their Sunday morning gatherings which are wonderful. Go to Open Gate Sangha for more info. Parting from a beloved pet is SO hard, and sometimes necessary. When I was a teen we moved to a new home where pets were not allowed so my parents’ solution was for me to take her to the vet and have her put to sleep ! We never discussed the pain it caused, “just get over it, it’s only a dog” was the message. I’ve since come to terms with my beloved parents’ unskillful parenting efforts because I always sensed they loved me despite blunders. I’ve blundered in my own parenting, most parents do. When I first heard an Adya tape my heart opened and said “yes” this is a good path. How about you?
I was a young teen, Karolina, when our dog Cinder got sick and was taken to the vet. She never came home. She had kidney disease from too much canned dog food, as I recall. I remember the event but not my feelings. I don’t remember her having any symptoms of illness. Yes, Adya has been a dear spiritual teacher for me since ’04. My dog Girl, of the Adya connection, died on the freeway, having escaped her new home during a big storm. For a year or 2, I visited her where her ‘parents’ worked, when I came home for a few days every month. One January I called, and Irene said, “Didn’t Roger tell you?” I remember well the pain I felt that time! Roger had been out of the country, and he was the one who had chosen to adopt Girl for himself and his young kids. Warm wishes to you, Karolina –
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