Friday, October 15, 2010

OCTOBER DAILY PRACTICE: Mindful Consumption at 15 Days

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!

poep sa


  1. Ah thanks for sharing that with us Frank. That was really sweet ( i mean this in a tender hearted, achy heart kind of way) to read!

    Just spent a rare day with my Mum, she and I walking in nature and eating a veggie roast together. T'was lovely. I so appreciate that time.

    Yes, thank you for the reminder I have lost touch a little with the mindful drink. I say a little 'cos now and then I take one or two sips mindfully, which is great. I would like to re-engage with my morning drink however.

    Once again, thank you for your sharing, much appreciated

  2. Thank you for this reminder, frank jude. I also appreciate your encouragement with this month's gatha. As enjoyable as it is I have still not been as present with it as I could be. I've been doing it at work and need to create some space there around this ritual in order to experience it fully. Then, on the weekends, I've completely forgotten about it...despite the fact that my husband and I had a peaceful outing into our beautiful landscape of southwestern New Mexico on Sunday and I had a whole thermos of tea with me! I've still got a lot of remembering to do! Thank you for sharing stories about Giovanna.

  3. Hello all! Much metta to you all. This has been VERY hard for me, i must say I was cocky when i first read this month's practice, i thought "Oh no problem, I can do it!" Geez, this process has been so humbling and spot on for me. I tried and tried for so many days well, sometimes only a sip or two was all i could manage. Two Mondays ago i was coming out of the subway when i noticed these people giving away free packets of Nescafe and the slogan they were yelling out was "Guaranteed happiness in every cup!" HA! I burst out laughing and thought "Guaranteed Happiness" who the hell can guarantee this? Jesus? Allah? Buddha, The Dalai Lama, Thay, Avatar Adidam? Who doesn't want happiness so yeah maybe this coffee will be the fix all..., if Nescafe promises happiness then Starbucks must promise Samadhi!!

    This weekend I attended Frank Jude's workshop (here comes a tangent before i make my point) and upon entering the yoga studio, i slip in to my old samskaras, as i tell frank jude that i wish i had brought my unsticky mat from home...i am one warm yogi, i begin to slip even if i think about asana and i noticed how i set myself up for slippage before i even began, (way to go "peaceful diligence of the heart) . well wouldn't you know it not having my unsticky mat did not hinder me one bit..and i realized how attached i am to frank jude and his style of teaching...anyway back to my original point...after the entire day i overheard a woman telling the class how she was going to go and grab a coffee and drink it as she drove home because there was no possibility of being mindful at home, i noticed that i felt a twinge for her, and then i thought, hey peaceful diligence you haven't even achieved more than five sips of mindfulness so take it easy there!!
    Well last night i had my first cup of tea mindfully in a long time, i noticed the subtle flavors of the herbs, the tastes i do not always enjoy, the flavors i love, (attachments) and how the cup felt in my hands, weight, the comfort and the warmth and the liquid as it flowed into my mouth and the different sensations in my body.
    as i came to the end of the liquid i felt satisfied and at ease... GUARANTEED HAPPINESS !!

    sipping once, sipping twice...
    enjoy your sips

  4. Yes, thanks, Frank, for the reminder. As difficult as this daily practice has been to do I am finding it very valuable to keep trying!