Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Mindful watching

One of my goals -- one of my spiritual goals -- was to be more mindful.  To really be in the moment.  And as the universe seems to behave, I got some help on that front almost as soon as the decision was made.

On Sunday, our Temple had an open house.  And as I was browsing in the gift shop there, I saw a book that seemed to demand that I take it off the shelf...it's called The Busy Soul, and it offers targeted meditations, prayers and exercises for each season of the year.  I opened to the summer section, and what did I see? A section about focusing on the here and now!  Mindfulness!

So this morning, I sat for half an hour at my favourite Panera Bread, and I just was.  Just like the title of another favourite book, Don't Just Do Something, Sit There: A Mindfulness Retreat with Sylvia Boorstein, I just sat and looked and listened.

The sky this morning in the Sunshine State was pewter grey. But unlike some grey days, the deep silvery color served to highlight and illuminate the hundreds of shades of green in the trees and bushes and grass.  Everything was glowing with color.

I sat there, at my table under the overhang, just out of reach of the light drizzle, and watched the deep green fronds of a palm tree move in the breeze.  I had forgotten how graceful their movement could be. How long had it been since I had really looked...watched...allowed my mind to really SEE the trees? Months?  Years? I was entranced.

When I was a child growing up down here, I used to sit on my parents' patio and do this kind of mindful watching, as the trees by the water swayed and danced in the wind. After awhile, I could feel their movement, as though my body was a part of that wild movement.  I could feel the wind's strength as it invisibly pushed big branches from side to side, or even in frenzied circles.  I didn't call it mindfulness then.  I had never heard the word.  I just loved feeling as though I was one with the trees.

I guess I wasn't a normal child -- those minutes or hours I spent watching the trees on windy days were more interesting to me than whatever might have been on TV.  It was an experience I didn't share with anyone for years -- and then it was greeted with looks of ....uncomfortableness.  No one seemed to understand. So I stopped telling, and eventually, stopped doing.

From time to time over the years, I've spent a few minutes connecting with the movement of the wind and the trees.  But I can't remember when the last time was.  Until today.  And the magic is still there.


Sharon said...

What a beautiful and inspiring reflection! I could feel the breeze and imagine the rest you were enjoying courtesy of being mindful. I understand loving trees and loving church services, and I saw the smirks and the looks, too. So thanks for daring to speak of the magic again.

Seeker said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Sharon. And I am thrilled to be talking about -- and experiencing! -- the magic once again :-)

luluslovlies said...

Such a beautiful post, such a great reminder to all of us to stay in the moment, stop, look, listen and feel. Most of the world is always in flight and full of on the go, never stopping to take time out for the beauty of the world to reflect and appreciate. You are amazing. I only graduated high school and went to beauty school and worked in the field for 1-2 years, but I have an education in life's experiences and raised 4 children, 3 on my own when I lost their Father so I do know what is important and beautiful. Follow your heart and take time out, you are an amazing human being! XOXO