Thursday, June 2, 2016

A New Moment

As I'm lying under a maple tree in the park, reading about the history of Pompeii, I grow drowsy and rest the book on my chest.  It is such a perfect day, blue and just warm enough to be a comfort.  I can hear raptors singing above me, and before me, about a hundred yards away, the river is rushing along.  My breath rises and falls as a background.

Suddenly I am feeling an odd, faraway feeling, a sad feeling.  I don't know why.  As I examine it, my first impression is to blame the surroundings.  They remind me, I think, of difficult times that went before.

And then I recognize this for the mistake that it is.  Every difficult time can be linked to something that is a reminder in the present.  I bring my attention back to the river sounds, to the red tail Hawks calling out above me, to the blue, blue sky and the warm air drifting over me.

And suddenly I'm having a brand new experience, unique to this moment.  After I strip away the thoughts and comparisons, and return to the raw sensory experiences, I see that this day is unlike any other that I've ever lived.  Because I am unlike I've ever been in my whole life on this day.  The similarities to other times dissolve.  There is no other moment like this one, and there never will be! The sensory inputs are unique to the me that is now, the mind inputs are unique to now, it is all fresh, brand new, and delicious.

It happens in the space of a breath (or maybe because of a breath!).  I watch my thoughts and I move them to the present.  And in an instant, I and the world around me are transformed. The book calls to me again.  Without a doubt, the Pompeians too sat under a tree, enjoying the day, and struggling with their thoughts.  Perhaps in a way that would be foreign to me culturally, but in another way, perfectly familiar.

Every moment is fresh and new.  Every single one.

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