Saturday, June 28, 2008

drink your tea slowly ...

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves
- slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

- Thich Nhat Hahn

Like so many of us, I live a rather hectic life. My workdays are usually 10 hours, working against deadlines, juggling multiple projects, dealing with client expectations, which can change from day to day. Most weekdays, I'm not home until after 9:30pm, either because I go straight from work to yoga or I go to visit my daughter and family over an hour away. I never make dinner; there's no time and it's too late. With such a packed week, all the chores are usually crammed into the weekend.

Some weekends, though, I try to claim for myself. These are weekends where I feel the need to do nothing, despite my lists of cleaning and fixing and planting; of oiling the chairs on the patio, posting my excess on Craigslist, replacing the worn flap on the toilet. I just want to recharge my batteries, to decompress, to release and renew - and ignore the nagging of those lists. They can wait.

This past
Saturday was one of those days. I felt lazy most of the day, happily, contentedly lazy. I did a few little things after my morning walk and my yoga class - played piano in a contented reverie - but mostly I just hung out in my courtyard doing a bit of plant clean-up, reading, sitting and thinking – just being ... and just being happy. My heart was just filled with gratitude for everything: for the home that keeps me sheltered; for the courtyard garden with the white butterflies fluttering about and the little birds drinking from the fountain; for the water that comes right out of the tap just by turning a lever; for the ability to choose when and what I will eat, at whatever time I am hungry; for the washer and dryer that clean and dry my clothes with so little effort on my part. I am abundantly grateful for the abundance and ease in my life.

On my lazy Saturday, I felt very much "in the moment." No rushing about, no calls or e-mails to answer. I felt fully present to the air, the sun, the sky; to life.

We only really live in the present moment. We don't live in the future; it's not here yet, so we cannot live in it. And yet, we sometimes invest considerable stress and worry about an imagined future that may or may not come to pass. More likely than not, when the future becomes the present, it's very different than we imagined it would be.

Drink your tea slowly and reverently ...

We don't live in the past, either. Those hurts and disappointments, events and feelings are not in the present moment where our breath and our heartbeat are. Too often, though, we stuff our sorrows and our victimhood over past events into a big old knapsack and hoist the full weight of it all over a worn shoulder. Thus encumbered by events from long ago - events that are done and gone - we face the purity and freshness of our present moment burdened and stooped under the load, as if we've forgotten that it's our choice whether to carry those burdens forward with us ... or to release them and fly freely like an untethered balloon through the air of now, feeling how much lighter and clearer everything is, how the sunlight sparkles, how the white butterflies dance, and how our heart shines throughout our being.

Live the actual moment.

There really is only this present moment. And then it passes ... and now we're in this present moment. We are not past, we are not future. We are truly only present. It's good to take time to get off the hamster wheel that life can become and just Be; happily, contentedly lazy if that suits you in the moment, noticing each breath and each butterfly and filled with gratitude.

Only this moment is life.


daisy cottage said...

I have always loved how you "get the moments" and I completely agree. Of course you expressed this philosophy with poetic ease... and inspired me once again.


Britt-Arnhild said...

Beautifully written, and oh so true.

Anonymous said...

Sweet thoughts...the full knapsack over the worn shoulder. Droppin' mine! Good ideas. Back from vacation and was a more peaceful week with in laws thanks to some of your earlier reflections. So whatcha thinking now?

Carol (stewcarol)

Rose said...

Such a beautiful post, Rose. I sometimes wish we lived closer to each other. I could learn so much from you. You surely ease my soul with your writings.