Wednesday, December 01, 2010

On Puking. And Living In The Moment.

Last night, as I was waiting for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to start {yes, I've been excitedly waiting!} I went upstairs to read in bed for awhile. I was chilly and the extra covers sounded very appealing. I was completely absorbed in my book when Sammy jumped up next to me and promptly puked. Large. Loud. And in a huge pile. He took one look at the pile, one look at me and jumped down, running off to play some more with Delilah. Like it was no big deal.

One minute his tummy is obviously hurting. The next minute he pukes. By then it's all over so he goes back to his business. When I puke I tend to lay around for at least three days – moaning, whining and generally miserable, even if I only puke once. Even when I'm feeling better, I'm pretty consumed with wondering if I'm going to feel bad again any time soon.

Samson has no such concerns.

And then I remembered that kids are a lot like dogs. They live in the moment, experience it fully and then let it go.

So, when is it exactly that we outgrow our ability to be only in the now?

I started working with mindfulness several years ago now -- but I wonder if I've gotten any better. My mind wanders -- sometimes in a "good" way, a way that I approve of, that doesn't distract me from the moment (but still wandering), and sometimes in such an "aggressive" way that I am completely removed from the present.

I just wonder. When does this shift occur?

For further reflection:

"If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not 'washing the dishes to wash the dishes.' What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea, either. While thinking of other things, we are barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus, we are sucked away into the future -- and we are incapable of actually living one moment of life!"
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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