I am just returning from a short retreat with my favorite mindfulness master. Every eight weeks or so, I travel to spend time with this ancient and wise being, immersing myself in the calm, understated energy that emanates from him. I let go of my life’s agendas and practice just being, opening up to whatever is called for in any moment. I experience the rejuvenating effects of doing less and being more. There is time to care for him and myself, in deep and meaningful ways. I sleep, sit, walk, read and swim. I spend time listening to him and watching him, soaking up his presence as well as my own. It is a slow and simple life, and I reap long-lasting benefits from each visit.
This mindfulness master is actually my dad…as he approaches 95 years old, his mind doesn’t function the way it used to, and neither does his body. Yet he goes through each day with such grace and good humor, and I hope I am learning from his example. He walks 45 minutes nearly every day, pushing his walker around the complex where he lives. He does what he can do each day and doesn’t worry about what he can’t. He naps when he is tired and knows what he wants (and doesn’t want) to do. Each moment is good enough.
I’m going to say that again….each moment is good enough.
Of course I have moments when I worry about what is to come, or feel bothered that I have interrupted my busy life to be here, or feel overwhelmed and alone in all of this. And then I catch myself, re-mind myself to bring my attention to “now,” and realize that in this particular moment, I am ok. In fact, this moment is usually quite pleasant and very much like the pleasantness that my dad embodies most of the time.
I can choose where to focus my attention – on the future, the past or the present. And I remember that this present moment is good enough, even if it is filled with difficult emotions or events, and the only real moment that exists. I choose “now.”