Making one simple choice at a time.

by Reiki Master Teacher Anne Aden

Yesterday I finally got together with my friend Pat.  The last time we chatted was at the retreat in September.  We exchanged Christmas presents.  I gave her a mug I’d made and she gave me a magnifying makeup mirror.  With a light.  15 times magnification.  Jim said, “She must have seen something you couldn’t.”  I can now see every wrinkle, errant eyebrow hair, and clump of mascara.  This morning I got to work pulling, tweezing, and wrestling with every brow hair and whisker that heretofore I was blessedly unaware of.

As I finished up, I mentally listed where else I’d recently spent such concentrated time.  It’s the start of a new year and I’ve already devoted hours, if not days, to organizing piles of bills and papers for our accountant and sorting through excess clothes in preparation for a big donation run.

This is the stuff of life and certainly necessary, but nourishing?  Not so much.  As I move more deeply into January, which tends to be a darker time for me emotionally, I’ve found more lightness in what is simplest – my meditation practice.  The choices are minimal.  I either sit on the cushion or I don’t.  I either work at staying focused or I entertain myself with whatever thought wants attention.  I either sit up straight or I lose attention and slouch.  These are moment-to-moment choices.  They are simple to make.

We are always practicing something.  Each moment that I practice awareness of this moment, even as it effortlessly melts into the next, helps me recognize and accept impermanence and change, and leads to choice.  This year I choose to sit on my cushion; choose to work at focus; choose to lengthen my spine.

Simple.  And oh so much less painful then plucking wayward hairs, making sense of old receipts, or wondering why I still have tags on clothes that have been in my closet for years.

Anne


 

For a list of practices that include meditation and qi gong, visit the Tree of Contemplative Practices from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

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