What does it mean to be in the moment? What does it mean to be mindful?
In this helpful, personal video, yogi and Buddhist teacher Michael Stone breaks down the oft-used term and shows how it relates to being mindful about what’s really going on.
Thank you for this reminder. I was "chopping carrots" with that very friend the other day, only the carrots were drapes we were heming – they're still not done!
I was working in a coffee shop some years ago, and there was a long line of people waiting to order. A middle-aged guy came up and was quite obviously absorbed in his inner experience, moving as slow as a turtle. He was also seemingly quite pleased with his "accomplishment", as he surveyed the scrambling people around him. He approached the counter and we silently recognized each other as practitioners. As I was flying around the espresso machine and the counters and the cash register trying to get everything done, I was also wondering why this "spiritually accomplished" fellow was deliberately preventing the free flow of activity and efficiency of movement, most notably in regards to the numerous other customers waiting behind him. He handed me his money so very slowly, with great focus. I quickly took the money and put it in a cash drawer, then withdrew his change and handed it back. This happened in a fraction of the time it took him to move his hand a few inches.. yet it was also done with great focus, as well as the precision and effortlessness of a highly trained kung-fu master. He may have even felt the breeze from my shirt sleeves. He seemed so incredibly, utterly, shocked.
I felt he got the message.
When looking at generosity, and also the aspirations of any bodhisattva type path, it is sometimes described in the way where "I" am here to help "You". However this is not the full depth of the story. As the boundaries between subjectivity and objectivity dissolve and return to the formlessness from which they have come, so do the boundaries which define other people as "not me". It is not something that can be forced, and really cannot be understood until it happens. The idea of such things does not begin to approach the reality of it.
When the perception of connectivity between phenomena becomes default, "randomness" is no longer useful as an excuse for confusion and non-recognition and so forth. Instead it opens up into the possibilities which the human mind refuses to encompass, and experience is increasingly enriched by the indescribable. The human body may seem to be represented by billions upon billions of separate entities who are currently inhabiting the earth. Yet this is only an inability of our senses to perceive the actual physical connections which bind all things together. The body-mind does not end at the edge of our skin, or the edge of our subtle aura, or the edge of our solar system.
The ideas of who we are seem so solid because our senses tell us the world is that way. In fact our senses tell us this because they have been conditioned to operate in that way. We are actually capable of much more than this. The only way to find out what that means is to explore these possibilities for yourself, in the depth of your personal experience as it occurs in each moment. The more attention and concentration you pour into each moment, the more you will discover. However, if you are concentrating so much you walk into a busy highway and get run over by a car, then all your possibilities for exploring this current human condition will end quite suddenly. Practice is not just about the intensity of focus, or adherence to a particular ideal – it requires the balance and moderation of a functional and efficient life to be truly beneficial in an all-encompassing way.