“Present-moment living, getting in touch with your now, is at the heart of effective living. When you think about it, there really is no other moment you can live. Now is all there is, and the future is just another present moment to live when it arrives.” Wayne Dyer
The concept that the present moment has all that we need has been confusing to me. I am now, however, at peace with it.Thich Nhat Hanh‘s quote resonates with me. “Find joy and peace in this very moment.”
If I didn’t have all that I need in this very moment, I would not be breathing. I would not be thinking. I would not be analyzing. I would not be here writing.
I find great peace when I can be here.
I’m not worried about my loss yesterday. I’m not worried about what I need tomorrow.
Many years of practice have not perfected my ability to stay present. I don’t often look back, but I can easily leap into the future. I can plan. I can calculate. I can anticipate.
Nothing is better than this moment.
Monks from Gongkar Chödey Monastery perform a ritual Cham dance welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama to an elaborate Long Life Prayer at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on March 4, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
Social media has provided me with a moving account from my son and daughter as they encountered His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Dharmasala, India during the Long Life Offering Ceremony in his honor on March 4, 2015. I have chills as I sit in my living room in Souhern Oregon and live it in my mind’s eye.
The most striking thing about being in India for this ceremony was not the rich color and panoply of Tibetan costumes. It wasn’t the devotion of the monks or of his followers. It was his presence.
My son and daughter had the privilege to be in the presence of true presence. They described his prayerful demeanor as he truly looked into the eyes of those within is vision. Tears filled the eyes of my children and of others who were affected by the absolute soul attention of a man whose message is that one shoo be with each moment in life.
When I heard their account and shivered with the impact I wondered at the impact that each of us can have if we practice being present in a profound way. What change could we facilitate if we met even five people each day in this way – if we could hold to this path for a fraction of our time.
This reminds me that my presence in my meditation is not all that is required.
When Pema Chodron talks about shenpa, she refers to living intimately with others.
Her teachings have made me aware that my irritations are my own issues. My knowledge of this human response keeps me aware of the lessons I would like to learn instead of thinking that I must teach someone else.
“Aha!” she says as she lives with four other women for a month.
This pleasure trip could have become a nightmare if I had mindlessly and habitually closed my heart and opened my mouth. Instead, it has been a wonderful practice. My moments of irritation, self-righteousness, and assumed martyrdom were contained within my thoughts long enough to sift a bit of ego from the mix before pouring out respect and consideration when I finally spoke.
I feel encouraged. Not because I did it perfectly (Not!), but because I was aware of the pitfalls much of the time. I was happy to have remembered Pema’s words when I began to shrink into the seclusion of resentment. It helped me to make my times of isolation short and the joys of sharing more bountiful.
Once again, thank you, Pema.