What is Really Going On Right Now?
Most of us have been sitting long enough to know that keeping practice at the forefront of our lives is the most valuable thing we can do for ourselves, our families, and our communities especially in a time of crisis. Yet even when we know this in our heart, it is important to stay alert to how much of our day is spent trying to convince ourselves it isn’t necessary.
The conditioned mind is more than willing to provide a carnival ride of tantalizing detours and we might find ourselves forgetting to ask the ever so basic question, what is going on right now? And if we do remember to ask the question, very often a quick check in with discomfort in our physical/emotional state leaves us eager to stay distracted rather than going to the next most import step of remembering to actually feel this!
Sometimes we convince ourselves that we are really just too busy to pause (even when our calendar is empty) or we find ourselves setting our own daily schedule with sitting practice as the last resort at the end of the day. After all, there is so much we need to accomplish! If our work life isn’t asking us to take care of things, certainly our friends and family relationships are calling to us. Or if we are living alone our own personal anxiety may be feeding an emotional fatigue that can convince us that the most important task at hand is to catch up on our sleep.
But in this need to satisfy the demands of our spinning mind, are we noticing where we are putting awareness in the order of things? Are we giving awareness top priority in our life or letting it come
forward as a last resort?
NOW is a most valuable time to put our aspiration at the forefront and let it guide us gently toward awareness. Let accomplishment (and sleepiness) take a distant second place for a change. After all, is there is an accomplishment that is not better served when completed with awareness? I can’t think of a single one. So why do we resist awareness? We know awareness heals, but we also know that when we stop resisting awareness, we are going to open the door to feeling our own vulnerability, uncertainty, and fear. All of those uncomfortable experiences that we don’t want to be necessary will no longer be denied.
It touches my heart, how hard we humans keep trying in our own ways to hang on to the surface of these turbulent waters and do anything we can to keep from sinking into the reality of feeling this moment. As if it was possible to just walk away from select parts of ourselves. But what if instead of trying to hang on to the surface of life, we found the courage to dive in willingly instead? What actually happens when we decide to be curious about this especially muddy water? What happens when instead of using practice as a last resort, we bring it to the forefront?
Our life is not a mistake. We are not being punished. And the evidence is everywhere that we are not alone even when we feel lonely. Remembering our aspiration gives us the courage we need to explore our experience of turbulence in this life. Our compassion for our shared human vulnerability can then provide the warm and soft blanket of comfort that we need to continue with an open heart.
By Diane Moore