Tag Archives: Living in the Moment

place title here

28 Apr

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

The hover before the in breath,

milk ducts in an empty breast,

the stomach: a hallowed out bruise,

an arm contorted every way to ease a throbbing itch,

slack tide’s final pause,

the coyote hamming to the camera in the air just off the cliff,

my attention’s constant hole never empty yet—

Is it the ohm?

Is it those last shivering atoms releasing the reverberation of the gong,

the hum of what was catching up to the trumpet of what will be,

the sway of the air’s almost embrace of the planet’s constant spin?

Let’s linger here, eyes closed, tongues out to catch the first drops.

Not holding our breath,  not rushing it either.

kiss and tell

7 Apr

I have a pervasive feeling of discomfort often.  I am finally able to identify this sensation as a feeling of something  pressing down on me about the tasks that are waiting for completion which directly contrasts to the wonders that are spontaneously arising every moment.  This pressing feeling has been so intrinsic to life for me that it is only as it is peeling back that I can feel it in its absence.  Whew.  How exhausting it is, and yet I continue  to have it return as tasks begin to mount, and I become lost to what is unfolding now.     Mas y mas, I am committing in holy matrimony to the moment, not the task.  I wear white, and you, now, wear white; we walk down the aisle together, you and me.  My life partner?  Oh my, perhaps I am even in a polygamous commitment, for I am marrying each moment, which is singular, but in the moment, arises all things.  Scandelous.  Just today I married my scratch pad, my students, my daughters, my cat.  I marry the moon as often as I can.  Today I joined with a bumblebee in the flowering azaleas as I fretted over the over-pruned camellia sticks, overjoyed to find signs of new growth.  We had a tryst, for this bee came on so strong.  So ripe is this romancing – the lover is here.  Dear missed connections – I apologize for all the overlooked love notes that have ever come my way.  I read the writing on your crumbled leaf, peel back your bark;  your hum enters my ear, eternal.

 

A Selection of True Awakening Experiences Part II

13 Feb

When beautiful Barbara asked if I wanted to participate in A Selection of True Awakening Experiences Part II,   I took a few days to think if I could participate because the flow is especially pressing to me right now, and writing at all, let alone reading others, has gone to the side.  I am teaching many classes which require lots of grading, so taking time for anything beyond eating, sleeping, and brief, brisk walks is rationed.  To have tasks that require my full focus is just what is needed now, because this is what is happening.  This squeezing  will perhaps bring me awareness that l need to transition to something new that leaves more open spaces for body and mind.  Or perhaps I will be able to continue to find the spaciousness of opening as needed within a challenging flow of time.  As this post is due today, I wake again at 3 AM, with a desire to write again, just in time.

I thank Barbara, who gives space for words and a place for connecting back during these February days.

Where I find myself now:

All instants are opportunity for returning to me, again and again,

second by second.

Who is this me I am returning to?

Good question.  That is the one I ask.  Who is the me I am returning to?  The non dual teachings are the ones speaking to me now.  Who is the one observing the one thinking?  The more I return to the presence the less the attention lost in the game feels okay.  Returning home becomes a known and effective possibility, even when I think I am drowning or being blown about in this life storm.

What does this observing look like in real life?

An example, one morning, as I was driving and thinking worry thoughts  about my daughter, (lost in an idea I had that moment about who I am in relation to my role as “mother”), I got on a bridge that does not lead to my workplace.  There was no turning about on the bridge, of course, so I had to carry on the road until I could do a u-turn on the other side.  My life choice to get lost in thoughts while driving forces me to WAKE UP!  One moment I was lost in worry, the next moment I was back in the present moment, on a road that forced me to return.   No curse words were uttered; there was no worry of a late arrival.  This wandering girl is loved in her lost moments.  The second I missed my turn and realized there was no way but to go forward over the bridge, I was offered many long views of water meeting ocean, the light and fog mixing to a rapturous view that was invisible a moment before.   I can, in an instant, return to being bathed in the morning light.

The world  says to me “be here;”  every road leads back to me.

When I am hurrying, confused, thinking that something is wrong, I am gone for seconds, moments, hours, sometimes.  But the returning is becoming more the normal.  The space of no thoughts, no agenda, no worry is often steady.  Joy.   The outer world dances with me – and my flow is as easy as what (and who) appear next.

My thoughts lost are mirrored to me with such compassion.  The bridge which takes me far from my destination, brings me back again.  My thoughts play back to me on the stage of the world.

The title Life as Improv becomes an ever more real instant to instant thing.  I can go about as the perceiver who meets even old friends without an idea of how the moment will unfold.

Who is appearing on my stage right now?

You.

 

I can see and feel your shifts

as subtle as snow’s first flakes, as dramatic as seizures.

You are me, I see, as you pass by,

your face, your expression, my mirrored image.

I feel your heart squeeze and know not the cause

but it is my heart, too.

Better with no words-

Better quiet now,

but instead it can be still loud, at times — as the thoughts built towers yesterday and now towers fall, regularly.

There is still the demolition, my house is still falling down.

Everyday I get to tear down another idea, closer and closer to the invisible veil.

I’m in the dungeon shining light into the corners

where the hidden dust of old ideas needs sweeping.

But I am happy to report,

the air has lost its smell –

and god willing I will build no more towers.

I  will not build new religions for the key that opens my door today.

I am comfortable in huts.

I will ever be a nomad,

even if I stay in one spot.

Beginning again again, each day,

do I see the flawless avocado for my toast?

Do I savor tea as it is sipped;

do I meet you with no yesterday story of me?

My today is frighteningly simple, even in this busy time,

as I’ve lost my yearning for most things.  The middle path was not a distant philosophy but a real clearing out and daily practice.  Now the subtlety of  desire and aversion becomes apparent – the consumptions of body and mind, clear.  The addictions of the subtlest nature are rooting out and getting dropped bit by bit.

Awakening is a heavy word – to me it is just the beginning, one dawn at the start of many days.

In vigilance and joy, driving to work, talking to students, juggling chores, buried in all the paperwork that life generates, losing my focus yet gaining it again, with less and less time in between…

remembering myself

to be

water

who doesn’t need instructions to flow

to the sea.

Up tomorrow:  Brian at  middle pane

 

all for what

30 Jan

There are spells cast

by whom I do not know

causing hours, sometimes days,

in the world to be annoying.

I suspect a conspiracy of ill will

toward a me who is just trying to get by.

This powerless creature in the corner

fights back, as any small creature does,

nail and tooth – oblivious to any other possibility.

It is a self-created corner, but do not tell that to the rat,

who vaguely recalls the days of cheese and finish lines.

Deus ex machina is in order in this corner –

Bring in the crane and lift her out,

goes out to the stage hands —

for the rat who has forgotten

where to find the elevator button;

she has forgotten the hidden zipper

in her little rat suit.

She is scratching at walls, smelling dead end corners,

biting hands that feed her.

Forgotten has she that she designed the maze

to promptly fall into

in order to be found.

There are hours, and sometimes days,

of maze running

of squinting eyes and cheese hoarding –

clips boards hovering overhead.

What is this course,

this confusing path with walls,

this capacity of ours to exist in so many

places and in so many ways

at once so fully in each?

the rat – the funder – the designer – the observer –  ocean

the mind – a sticky note storm – a hurricane the size of Africa – Om – ocean

the body –  a straight jacket – a secret word – the breath –  ocean

May we all fall into the ocean from every where.

May Jacob’s ladder be thrown from a helicopter

into our wayward dreams.

The only interesting thing is the wonder.

Where does the helicopter fly from here

when questions fall away,

when my scratching pen ceases to mark the trail?

The sky to the maze is the ground just for liftoff –

dropped is the story of chase and chased.

What comes next a mystery lived.

 

 

remedial

15 Nov

I’m in the middle of my first semester teaching a class classified as remedial.

I can relate to this term remedial.

Each student is dear, this is clear, but i am at a loss to teach the basics that teachers have been repeating for years to these on whom it didn’t stick.  Why didn’t the basics stick?  There is a separate and complex answer for every single one.  Each seat filled with a story, eyes conveying a barrier for the process.  I have never looked into so many eyes who want to be elsewhere.

I leave the class exhausted and depleted, feeling that I could use some remedial help in helping the remedial.

As souls, we meet in a room and I am touched by the loveliness here.  But the frustration for everyone is also palpable.  When frustrated, what is the normal human reaction?  Push back.  I bend in sway in this breeze.  I brainstorm how to teach this class better, each night, yet lessons fall flat, in part because I have slipped out of ease and into trying.  I appreciate that I can see this shift as it occurs, or soon after.    I make the familiar leaps in my brain, and slow these steps down, but they are not the logical steps for my audience.

The students in my regular college-level classes in contrast are looking like geniuses.  I lean into them like colleagues in the bar after work.  We share a common purpose, to make some progress in 7 weeks.  The remedial students have a different flow.

It is good of me to stretch, to fail, to try again.  It is good of me to get depleted to show where my imagined boundaries are.  It is good to not be able to rely on any old dog tricks of charm and tap-dancing for entertainment.  I am dying over and over – surprised to wake up again and again in this body and in this life – every morning a new introduction to myself in the mirror.  This person, the I,  goes to work, tries, again with this trying, succeeds in ways she will never even know and fails in ways she is equally blind to…

—- the grief can come in waves for the one who thought she knew something true to teach, for the one who thought her ideas were smart, for the one who laughed at her own jokes.  There is nothing that can go that should be held on to.  How ready I am to stop with everything false, clinging even as it tastes like metal in my mouth? A million mirrors are closing in on all sides of the me now.  If I compare me to yesterday, I have given up almost everything that once brought me pleasure in exchange for smelling every smell as it arrives, sweet and foul no longer relevant.  Broken can become – only this:   there is seemingly a nose and seemingly a breeze – and a schedule arranged by god.  There is nowhere I have to be that has not been preordained.  I am on some edge that looks like giving up freewill and intelligence.  I am giving over my voice and my eyes – I am emptying out of opinion.  Who will fill the air now?    We will see, now won’t we?

moments

10 Nov

my gut tightens from a sound

angry voices rise outside

peering out the peep hole

giving space to work things out

i’ll check for my mail later

*****************************

sensing something’s wrong

is the start to make it right

all are welcome here

****************************

muscles in the jaw

set our teeth for war in cars

throw away the clock

****************************

corners of my eyes

wabi sabi wrinkles

I’m folding into me

****************************

all i see is good

always has it been –

just just –

twinkle berry

flower cactus

solo cat

its time for tea

again

i miss these days already

25 Aug

seeing through to the next pages of the calendar

(as we most certainly do)

gifts us a nostalgic ache

for the things so full in today

that will surely go

away:

landscape and conversation

the food we eat together –

see me

stretched out in a queen bed with my arms flung every way

dwelling in my solitude,

while also missing so soon the extra blanket,

pillows, oxygen so ample for me right now…

I look to the popcorned ceiling

searching for a clue.

in what manner will these things go?

Your hello makes me teary for the encased goodbye within,

the fresh and grooving song becomes old before the first time through,

and august’s heat and sliding sun push heavily on toward frost –

the prophetic plague: that

within each extreme, the opposite can’t help but call for

we cannot escape the tax for taking on this life

there is ache in fulfillment,

a bitter pulse in sweet,

the smell of death in birth.

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