Just a brief note to encourage us all who have chosen to attend to this practice to re-commit if necessary, and to share if any thoughts, insights or questions have arisen while working with this practice.
Interestingly, this morning while waiting for my connecting flight out of the Denver airport, I had a latte from Caribou. Upon their cup was a slogan: "Life is short. Be awake for it." This reminded me of the gatha we would shout out as part of morning prostration practice during seminary training:
Great is the matter of birth and death!
Impermanence surrounds us!
Be awake each moment!
Do not waste your life!
Each line was shouted out by the practice leader after each 25 prostrations, and then after the 100th, we'd do 8 more. It all comes down to this, in some way or another, doesn't it? Since the birth of our daughter, Monica and I have been all the more conscious of not wanting to let anything slip by; of really wanting to be present to and for our daughter. Sati, the Pali word translated as "mindfulness" has to do with remembering. This afternoon, as I sat with my eyes closed on the plane to Dulles Airport, I saw vividly our little girl's face in my mind's eye. I recollected how our days are filled with apparently 'mundane' things, repetitive things, like diaper-changing, and one of my favorites: napping with Giovanna asleep on my chest. We've napped on the couch, on the bed, and even on the floor of the warehouse while Momma did some aerial silk exercises! By being present, I could remember each time!
That cup of coffee today in the Denver airport was quite tasty, but more importantly, the slogan served as a wonderful 'bell of mindfulness.' Maezumi Roshi would often encourage his students to "Appreciate your life!" Being present -- even for the 'poopy diapers,' and the interrupted sleep -- has definitely cultivated a deeper sense of appreciation for this life.
May you enjoy your next beverage of choice, but most importantly, may you appreciate your life!