There are times where I look at my life with astonishment and marvel at the people and places I had the good fortune to encounter. Although I give thanks to the many blessings in my life, it can be a challenge to stay present and acknowledge the little miracles in daily life. It could be the smile of my children I don’t see when I rush to work in the morning. Did I miss that amazing orange sky last evening because I was busy talking? Was I too busy thinking about something else when I got that heartfelt hug from a friend?
When I was travelling in India, I stayed in Dharamsala and met one of the locals. He asked me where I have been and I proudly counted down the list of places I have visited in the world. He looked at me not with admiration but just said: “Why do you have to go to all these places in the world when everything you need to discover is already inside of you?”
In meditation we practice presence. The real challenge is to stay present as we encounter life. To stay present even if we don’t like something (Dwesha = dislike\repulsion) or feel attracted towards it (Raga = liking/pleasure). To be absolutely absorbed by the moment without judging it.
I was there in the park after the heavy rain, the mist hung over the trees and this multicolored bird sat right there on a branch in front of me. I breathed in this moment as if it was my last. What joy and honor to be in the presence of this bird.