Have you ever taken notice of moments? The moments I am talking about are like photographic stills, or perhaps movie clips where my attention is fully focused and I feel extremely alive. I am suddenly fully awake and present. Shifting myself out of auto-pilot . . . I stop myself in my tracks. Ahh, Here I am.
These moments happen numerous times during a day for me and if I choose to pay enough attention, I can stay with each moment as it merges into the next one. Thus, I experience a string of moments that then becomes an extended, intensely focused experience.
Once, while engaged in a week-long meditation retreat, I connected with my breath to such a degree, that my attention became continually focused on my breath – present as each breath moved into the next breath. I don’t remember how much of the day I was in that state, but do know that I left the meditation hall, headed toward my bed, laid myself down and spent the entire night aware of my breath. And then, aware of the sun rising, getting myself up, feeling fully rested, clearer than ever before, never losing contact with my breath, I breathed my way to breakfast and back to the meditation hall.
Most of my moments have to do with really connecting with another human being, an animal or nature. Sometimes they begin with noticing something I have never noticed before, even though I have looked at this particular scene numerous times. Some of the best moments are those when I aware myself that I am being very kind. Noticing these moments has become a practice for me. The more I aware myself of moments, the more ‘life’ I feel I experience. Moments become a part of my memory album.
As simplistic as this may sound, this is a large part of what my life is about. I am here to be as conscious as I can be. Take in as much as I can. I need no other explanation or reason for being here. If I am true to this intention, my marriage, my Live Conscious practice, my work with others, all my relationships feel more sumptuous.
My experience of a Live Conscious Retreat often feels like one long extended moment to me. Once I have settled in, the retreat becomes a blend of sweet tactile, visual, auditory, and visceral moments all strung together. Then those 4 or 8 or 9 days of retreat moments merge into a sensation that I feel deep in my bones. I leave the retreat with the feeling of being lastingly and almost genetically changed . . . and incredibly alive.
Jake and I have begun to point out ‘moments’ when we take our dog and cat for a walk. We point moments out to each other by saying the word “moment” when we notice one. We have even had a contest to see who could capture the most moments. On the trail yesterday Jake proclaimed “moment” as he watched me unconsciously step in dog poop. That was a very funny moment.