Just in case it isn’t obvious, one of the reasons I’m writing this blog is to share my practice of being present in everyday life. Like most of us, I’ve spent many years not exactly in this mode – in fact, pretty far from it, except perhaps when I was spending relaxed time with our children when they (& we) were young.
Lucky for me, I have more time now to be able to try to pay attention, to go more deeply into aspects of our everyday lives, & to share some things I’ve loved learning about our old earth and the short life we each have on it. And I’m incredibly thankful to have a grandchild to help me with this.
Living with the understanding that we humans (for better or worse) are not much more than thinking & walking primates – and, amazingly, genetically connected all life on earth – has been immensely helpful in my ability to feel grounded on this planet. My life, similar to the lives of many of us, has yielded unfathomable sadness and also tremendous joy. This is not karma. This is not what I deserve or don’t deserve. Life just happens, & the randomness of evolution has meant that as a human primate, I (generally speaking) have more awareness of this life than other creatures. This is a blessing and a curse…as the saying goes.
I’m not into religiosity. But among many humans who have been helpful for me on this path, I feel deep appreciation for Pema Chödrön. Even though she’s a Buddhist, I’ve found her wisdom to be right on target with my world view. My favorite book of hers is Comfortable With Uncertainty, which I like much more that When Things Fall Apart, even though the later is more well known.
Here’s a quote from the former, in the reading “The Heart of Everyday Life”:
“Bodhichitta [the awakened heart of loving-kindness and compassion] is available in moments of caring for things, when we clean our glasses or brush our hair. It’s available in moments of appreciation, when we notice the blue sky or pause and listen to the rain. It’s available in moments of gratitude, when we recall a kindness or recognize another person’s courage. It’s available in music and dance, in art, and in poetry. Whenever we let go of holding on to ourselves and look at the world around us, whenever we connect with sorrow, whenever we connect with joy, whenever we drop our resentment and complaint, in those moments bodhichitta is here.”
In spite of it all, I’m thankful to be a human primate.