Lent – Day 3

Still thinking, still considering, still realizing that I can dig deeper to uncover what I need to change. I remained silent long enough to come to a new understanding in one endeavor, and that served me better than speaking before I knew the true dynamics of the situation. Amazing. And yet we rush around thinking the more we do the better we’ll be, the more we say the smarter we’ll appear; but it doesn’t seem to work that way.

So I’m still working on realizing what it is I need to shed, or change. But I notice that the more I rest in that realization period, the more I observe what I am doing or how I am presenting myself, that I am adjusting my behavior. It might be something subtle, (and certainly didn’t include the two filled doughnuts), it might even be unconscious on my part, but it does take place.

I think realization and awareness are closely linked. They overlap to some degree, though I want to explore the awareness phase in more detail beginning Monday. It’s difficult in this day to not feel the need to accomplish, to get to a finish line. Only when you realize that we all have the same finish line does that need to race to it begin to diminish. Only then do you begin to feel the true joy of the current moment.

J

Lent – Wednesday week 6

Nothing new.

Sometimes we strive to learn something new, do something different, stretch ourselves, our capabilities, expand… well, you get the picture.

Today, rest in routine. Focus on just being and not having to be something new and improved. I read once, I think it was a Buddhist practice, about doing the dishes and focusing on just doing the dishes. Nothing more. Not what you were going to do next, or how you felt about doing them. Just focus on the doing.

And I think a Christian adaptation added ‘for God’ to the mix, so that each little thing you did, you did ‘for God.’

Either way, focusing on the task at hand and nothing more is just a way to stay in the present moment. To not worry about what comes next.

I pray that this moment consumes my attention; that I am empty of all thought of what’s next on the list. The list is one. Always.

And in concentrating on the one, our senses are heightened toward the one, the creator.

Entering the now

It’s the first Sunday of Lent and if you’re following my Lenten journal, I hope you you took the last few days to rest and listen to your inner self. In a distracted world it is too easy to lose touch with what guides you.

This past week we have been inundated with conflicting news – the tragedy in Japan, March madness, Spring Training and multi-million dollar contract negotiations (or the lack thereof), and conflict in other parts of the world. Makes you think two different things: ‘Glad it’s not me,’ and ‘Wish it were me.’ The question becomes, ‘What really matters?’ If you’ve been fortunate to live through a disaster (in the instance where you experienced one), you’ll understand that in the immediate aftermath the only things that matter, and that you are thankful for, are your own safety and the safety of those dearest to you. Everything else shrinks to triviality.

I think if you live in the moment, that is one of its blessings. Things that seemed important shrink into insignificance. There is only now. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. My heart aches at the tragedies occurring around the world and I become less interested in the plights of the rich trying to become richer; yet, no matter our standing, we cannot avoid life and all of its beauty, wonder, and danger.

To live now is to accept that, and to cherish all your interactions, whether they are as simple as raking leaves with a loved one nearby, or as complicated as negotiating peace between parties whose focus is only on themselves. Each moment you can choose your response. But only if you are aware of the opportunity.