Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cultivating awareness

We have a houseguest this weekend, a wonderful old friend from the early days of our marriage whom we hadn't seen or spoken to in decades, and we were delighted to discover that she and I have both been taking improv classes.

So we decided to celebrate the synchronicity of that by going to see our island improv troupe's monthly performance last night, and when we walked out the door at 6:45, this was the scene that greeted us.

Of course she and I both ran for our cameras; wouldn't you? But before we did that, there was that breathless moment of wonder, when we were just stopped in our tracks: Oh, my God, look; so beautiful! I think that in that speechless moment of recognition, when we are totally absorbed by what we are taking in, before we have run for our cameras or labeled anything -- the moon, the houses, the bird, the streak on the water -- there is a kind of healing that takes place, a purifying sense of oneness with what is, that feeds our souls.

And now I'm wondering if that doesn't explain why it is we humans all slow down for the wreck by the side of the road, watch disaster movies, or gather in the parks on the Fourth of July to watch fireworks. Could it be the shock value, the momentary suspension, that breathlessness, that draws us in? Perhaps for some those are the only times when they can be totally aware, present, mindful, and the body -- which knows it needs those suspended moments -- drives through the unconscious to find arbitrary ways of achieving these brief glimpses into that place which is both empty and fully connected.

I don't really know. But I did notice that my meditation this morning had much more "suspended time" than I've had in a long while -- it was as if this moment with the moon had somehow primed my pump, and more of that delicious weightlessness/thoughtlessness was flowing through. Which means it might be true that the more we cultivate that awareness, the more attentive we are to each individual moment, the more awareness will come to us. It's certainly worth a try!

2 comments:

Maureen said...

Thank you for "capturing" and sharing that beautiful image.

KimQuiltz said...

A beautiful combination of clutter and peace...LOVE the image! It's very....human.