Today Is


Reflections on 2017 / Monday, December 25th, 2017

Just another day. Every day, I wake up with the faint shreds of a dream lingering in my mind. I shake off the cobwebs, shrug, and stretch myself to my morning one-hour meditation. Some days, I remember the dream. Some days, I only remember the feeling of the dream. Many many days, even as I begin my meditation, my thoughts run backwards into the past and forward into the future. I am reminded of that song, Windmills of Your Mind, by Dusty Springfield.

Round

Like a circle in a spiral

Like a wheel within a wheel

Never ending or beginning

On an ever-spinning reel

Like a snowball down a mountain

Or a carnival balloon

Like a carousel that’s turning

Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping

Past the minutes of its face

And the world is like an apple

Whirling silently in space

Like the circles that you find

In the windmills of your mind…

And that’s what today is. My mind runs circles, the windmills spinning furiously.

But these days, I have understood that the past has no expiry date. The past remains, hovering over us, gaining control over us because we think about it so much. I have understood through close encounters with death that Today comes with an expiry date. Today is just this. The swirling of each moment, building layers of our life, half-forgotten kisses of memories and desires until we lay our head down into another end. I remember Pema Chodron in one of her books, who sweetly asks us to be curious about today.

“The best spiritual instruction is when you wake up in the morning and say, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen today.’ And then carry that kind of curiosity through your life.”

Since I read that, I have begun to live that. Life takes on a more beautiful hue when you are curious, I realize. I have learnt that from my friend, Travelling Birdy, whose curious nature I used to laugh at, but that same curious self I now admire. To be curious is to be alive. And when we are curious about our todays, we are no longer spinning those windmills from the past or the wheels of the future. We are being present here, grateful for the blessed opportunity to be alive. We are then living. Isn’t that what our todays should be made of?

What are you curious about today?

2 Replies to “Today Is”

  1. Awww, Dave, your Mom sounds wonderful. Wish I had met her. Ah! Meditation. My mind is just as taxed, trust me. It’s just that the practice I use doesn’t focus on “focus,” but well, awareness. So, if my mind is a monkey mind, I am just aware of it, and I gently bring it back with that awareness. There is no control, but instead acknowledgement and release.

  2. Dear Smitha – You are so right about being curious. To her dying day, my Mother never lost her insatiable curiosity. It always kept her going, even in the dark days of her final cancer. Curiosity also breeds enthusiasm, something I am grateful to say others see in me.

    On meditation. You are indeed an old soul. My poor monkey mind is taxed by being open, receptive and quiet 20 minutes a day. An hour, especially on rising in the morning, seems like an eternity. How do those guys sit on a mountain top for 15 years meditating every minute???

    Thanks for sharing,
    Dave

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *