October 30


Today's Quotation:

One does not need to fast for days and meditate for hours at a time to experience the sense of sublime mystery which constantly envelops us.  All one need do is to notice intelligently, if even for a brief moment, a blossoming tree, a forest flooded with autumn colors, an infant smiling.

Simon Greenberg

Today's Meditation:

Can we keep our eyes and minds and hearts open enough to see the marvels of the world that surround us all the time?  If we can do so, how will our lives change for the better?  Somehow, we tend to think that seeing beyond the "day-to-day ordinary" things is an ability that's reserved for those people who have dedicated their lives to spirituality and meditation and prayer, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Life tells us all the time that it's deeper than we see on the surface, and all we need to do to start seeing beneath that surface is to start paying attention.

Sometimes I stare at one of my hands or a finger, and I start to think of the muscles and tendons that are in there to allow it to move.  Then I think of the blood vessels-- the arteries, veins, and capillaries-- that bring blood to it so that the flesh stays alive.  Then I start to think of the electrical impulses that come from my brain and travel through my central nervous system that allow me to bend my fingers and open and close my hand to any degree that I wish, at almost any speed that I wish.  And then I think of the free will that I have that causes the thoughts that make me want to do those things.

When all is said and done, the whole process is so amazing that it's almost overwhelming.

We are surrounded by beauty and mystery, and it's patiently waiting for us to notice it and to learn from it.  We can do so by paying attention, by gazing intently and allowing the object of our gaze to be what it is, not what we expect it to be or think that it should be.  Life gives us plenty of wonderful gifts, and it's up to us to notice them and enjoy them and learn from them how wonderful life is.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What are some wonderful things of life that you've noticed recently?

2.  Why do we tend to think that this kind of observation is reserved for people who focus on spirituality or meditation as a way of life?

3.  What can you do to practice seeing more things more clearly?

For further thought:

There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who do it to the limit of their ability.  We can be completely present.  We can be all here.  We can give all our attention to the opportunity before us.

Mark van Doren

more thoughts and ideas on mindfulness



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