Monday, April 4, 2011

Ordinary & Extraordinary

The string of tensions and joy that make up life are patterned like beads, yet one moment is mindless and routine and the next extraordinary. Whether sitting zazen or flying through movement on a yoga mat, sitting at a desk or waking from sleep on the couch, it is only this moment that we experience.

Mind chemistry has its hold on all the rest of it. What is remembered, what is expected, what is felt, what is responded? This moment, possibly the only action is this breath, this glance, this touch. The practice is so simple: Let go of the patterns that attach this moment to what was or will be and fully experience being.

No, it isn't a state of bump on a log, where everything must fade into nothingness. And it doesn't require a thousand years of training to control every aspect of the physical body. This moment may hold every emotion, not reserved for only one or another. In fact, it is the vastness of this moment that turns the routine into the extraordinary.

In my Tai Chi for Arthritis classes, I say again and again, "Focus, and Relax." Training the mind to be useful with its powerhouse of possibilities, while allowing the physical and emotional self to dwell in spaciousness with communication lines open, well, there you are. Being present. The good and bad of it all becomes a pattern like slides projected on the walls around you, and can be seen for the illusions that they are, as reactions, as conditions, as patterns.

Wake to it, and awareness saturates the dark and the light, opening the moment and illuminating it.

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