April 28


Today's quotation:

The past is gone, and I don't know what's coming in the future.  It's obvious that if I want my life to be whole, to resonate with feeling and integrity and value and health, there's only one way I can influence the future:  by owning the present.  If I can relate to this moment with integrity, and then this moment with integrity, and then this moment with integrity, wakefully, then the sum of that is going to be very different over time, over mind moments that stretch out into what we call a life, than a life that is lived mostly on automatic pilot, where we are reacting and being mechanical and are therefore somewhat numb.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Today's Meditation:

I greatly fear a "mechanical" life in which everything I do, I do on automatic pilot.  Automatic pilot is good for airplanes, but not for me.  When you set automatic pilot, you're telling the airplane or ship exactly where to go, based on longitude and latitude, and there's no room for variation at all.

Airplanes, though, always have specific destinations.  The pilots know exactly where they're supposed to go and what time they're supposed to get there.  They know the route they're supposed to be on because they've probably done that particular route before.  Automatic pilot for an airplane is fine, because the trip is purely functional and there's no need to do anything except get to the destination.

For us, though, automatic pilot would mean that we've already determined our end goal.  We've already decided what we want to do and be, and there would be no room for learning or changing our minds or ideas in the present moment, for that would drastically change our destination.  We wouldn't be allowed to deviate from our journey based on new knowledge or new ideas that we learn along the way.  Our decisions of this moment would be determined by the desire to reach a pre-set destination or objective.

If we can look at this moment for what it is, though, and figure out what's best for this moment, we can build a solid base upon which our future will rest quite comfortably.  Perhaps this moment is one for rest, or a moment for getting some work done or a letter written.  We'll know what's right for us in any given moment if we just live them all with integrity, as Jon says, and if we're honest about what each moment needs from us.

Questions to consider:

How is this moment special?  What does it need from you?

Which are the most important moments in our lives?  How do we determine their importance?

What elements make this particular moment so special?  How can we live it with integrity?

For further thought:

People who are “being” are fully present.  They are totally engaged in the moment.  This engagement includes an easy appreciation and sense of connection with whomever or whatever they are relating to at the time.  These people are aware of a job well done or a difficulty surmounted and will respect and often acknowledge the person who has accomplished it.  “Being” is a state of heart and mind that is receptive and able to listen carefully.

Sallirae Henderson



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