November 27, 2011

Focus On The Present

Zen says, "When eating a banana, just eat the banana."

We have to enjoy the now - there is nothing else. It is easy to get caught up in what might happen in the future. Or what you think will happen. Or what you want to happen. Or what should happen. Planning may be good, but whatever is happening, is happening right now. Don't miss it by spending time in the future, or in the past.

The best way I have found to be in the moment is by concentrating on my daily routine. It may not always be exciting, as Zen teaches, but focusing on our routines has a wonderful way of centering us in the present, where all the action takes place.

The repeated actions of routines are not things that get in the way of life - they are life, at the most basic and fundamental level. They are not to be avoided, dreaded, or delegated to others. These potentially 'boring' activities are our doorways to new knowledge and skills.

Whether I am making my bed, preparing delicious whole-food meals, emptying the sink, cleaning the toilet, baking bread, or brushing my teeth before bed, I am recognizing the opportunities for mindfulness practice and personal improvement.

As I go about daily tasks my goal is to not think about the past or the future, just what I am doing at the moment. When I achieve this focus, the hours slip by unnoticed as I willingly engage in life. Far from drudgery, the daily routine becomes a gentle and persistent teacher.

By willingly, and mindfully engaging in the minutia of life I am learning about living in the moment, and freeing my mind.

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