Lesson 5: The Precious Moment
It's the second week of February here in Asheville and the daffodils have already blossomed and the Bradford pear is sprouting new leaves. As I picked a few for the office, the smell of the daffodil in the middle of winter caused me to forget the telephone conference I had and for just a millisecond, it was the onset of summer. For less than the length of an inhalation, my mind let go of the daily responsibilities and the expectations to be met.
Thinking is a tremendous skill and what you wouldn't give to be able not to! The very skill you were taught in your educational process is the very prison in which you live as you grow up...stuck in the past...planning, worrying, remembering, repressing, revenging, grudging, analyzing, regretting, wishing, hoping, ...the mind that you were taught to develop now owns you and you are unable to control it, much less make it be able to be still. The precious moments are stolen.
"His wakened mind became an empty slate
On which the Universal and Solo could write
All that represses our fallen consciousness
Was taken from him like a forgotten load:
A fire that seemed the body of a god
Consumed the limiting figures of the past
And made large room for a new self to live."
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The precious moments are those in which, momentarily, the mind is vacant and you experience the present moment, the unfolding, illuminating beauty of your life that surrounds you each and every breath...regardless. The precious moments are those in which the chains of the past are broken and that simple moment evokes the eternal freedom of your soul and the cherished next breath that takes in the smell of the daffodil, making room for the next one and the next one and the next one. The precious moment is simply the previous moment in which you were not paying attention. As SA reminds us in "Savitri,"
"The laws of the Unknown create the known.
The events that shape the appearance of our lives
And a cipher of subliminal quiverings
Which rarely we surprise or vaguely feel,
Are an outcome of repressed realities
That hardly rise into material day."
The power that resides inside of you is a power that you have sought your entire life outside of you. The outside and the inside, the horizontal and the vertical, and the world of daily assault and the world of perfection are the two worlds in which you live. The precious moments are when for a moment you escape from the outside to the inside and everything is OK, everything is perfect in its current state and nothing is needed or missing. It is in this state of mind, even if just for a brief glimpse, you see that you are one those precious moments.
"Communicates without means the unspoken thought;
It moves events by its bare silent will,
Acts at a distance without hands or feet.
This giant ignorance, this dwarfish Life
It can illumine with a prophet of sight,
Invoke the bacchic rapture, The Fury's goad,
In our body arouse the demon or the god,
Call in the Omniscient and Omnipotent,
Awake a forgotten Almightiness within.
In its own plane a shining emperor,
Even in this rigid realm, Mind can be King:"
To be practical, you can easily divorce your mind from its system of judgments, beliefs, opinions, perceptions, projections, and positions even if just for a second. If you don't believe this, then go take a cold shower for 10 seconds and see what happens. Your mind will forget what it was thinking. Wrap up warmly but quickly and lay on the bed with some soft music and feel the warm returning to your body. You will experience a precious moment.
The next time you go out to eat, decide ahead of time to leave a $100 tip, regardless of the food or service (I left a $100 tip for Travis at Stan's Cocktail Lounge Washington DC Wednesday, March 2). As your mind is decimating you for being so stupid, hang around long enough to see the reaction of the server to your generosity and for a brief moment, you will forget what you were thinking as you witness the joy on their face. You will experience a precious moment.
The reason? Because that is what you are. Yes, you.