waiting for the sun to rise
I sat in my meditation garden this morning and looked to the east, waiting for sunrise. As I sat in anticipation, I was struck by the fact that, while I was focusing on what was about to happen in the future, I was missing all that was happening in the moment.
I was waiting for the sun to rise and so I missed seeing the beautiful hummingbird sipping water from the fountain. I was waiting for the sun to rise and so I missed the two road runners scurrying about the garden searching for a place to make their nest. I was waiting for the sun to rise and so I failed to enjoy the exotic fragrances of the herb garden in the breaking dawn.
I find that I spend a lot of time remembering the past or planning for (thinking about) what is yet to come. So, I wonder how much of real life I often miss.
On this Saturday before Easter (known as Holy Saturday in the Christian calendar), plenty of people are waiting for and preparing for tomorrow. Some may be waiting for the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, others are anticipating an Easter Brunch, a family gathering, an egg hunt.
Plenty of people today are waiting for the sun to rise in the future and, in doing so, missing what is rich and full in the present.
The Buddhists have much to teach me about being in the present. In fact, one of the greatest gifts that Buddhism has presented to me is the emphasis on the practice of "mindfulness." I am mindful when I clear my mind of thoughts and ideas and simply make myself available to the immediate moment. I am mindful when I live in the present without resorting to past memories or future anticipation.
Every morning I go into my meditation garden and try to practice "mindfulness." For me, this is no simple task. In fact, I obviously failed to be mindful this morning. I sat there looking for something that was about to happen and I missed all that the moment had to offer.
Today is a good day to work on being more "mindful."
As I write this, I look out my office window onto the meditation garden. A beautiful yellow butterfly is resting on a branch of a desert bush.