The long-term goal of my mindfulness practice is moment-by-moment mindfulness throughout daily life. At times it’s felt very effortful, but lately I’m struck by how much surrender is involved. Settling. Accepting. Resting in this moment.
It means being willing to be with the relentless uncertainty and unfinished business of life. Life is messy. I’m not perfect. There will always be loose ends.
Resting in the moment also means being willing to feel my emotions. A moment of excitement. A moment of fear. Joy. Grief. Enjoying the pleasant ones, but letting them go. Allowing the unpleasant ones to come, knowing they too will pass. Valuing feeling over feeling good.
We are coming to see the emotions and personality characters that arise in us as just that. Emotions and characters. The young part that will always be hurt by even a playful insult. The scared part that doesn’t want to connect, even though other parts know how good it feels. The angry part that holds grudges. The unsettled part that’s always aware of our mortality.
We are learning to witness and allow all this, without taking any of it as a definition of who we are. And this process of compassionately standing back and witnessing—this is the process that eases the sense of problem that all those feelings and characters seem to cause.
We stand back, accept and integrate, until we start to catch glimpses of a different perspective where everything is exactly as it should be. None of those parts needed to go away. Nothing needed to change. Everything is fine, and it always was.
In one sense this is a process that takes place over time. In another sense this is a realizing, a noticing that only ever happens in this moment. Right now. Without a path. Without a long hard road. In any moment we can simply say, “yes. this.”
There is so much mystery and possibility in your own awareness. If you’re longing to explore, come join me on Sunday nights starting this weekend, as my new weekly drop-in class begins in Santa Monica and online. The first session will be this Sunday evening, October 22, 6-7pm PST. The class will be streamed live from my website each week, so you can join in person, or from anywhere in the world! Read all the details here.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to try a guided meditation oriented around resting in awareness, give this one a shot: