Monday, June 21

Mindful Monday: One Bottomless Moment

Ever since I was a teenager, I've been on a quest for meaning, believing that I'd find an answer that would finally bring me peace and make me happy. I've studied a few world religions, traveled a little, tried (mild) hedonism, worked hard, cherished friends, had romances, married, engaged in different communities, raised kids, succeeded and failed at many things, and started and ended just as many.

I've also read thousands of books, fiction and nonfiction, secular and religious, searching for the reason and purpose of human existence, generally, and my own, specifically. I've written poems, essays, journal entries, and emails, all in the hopes of "Trying to Figure Things Out."

Today I read two sentences that made me laugh: "There's nothing to get to the bottom of," Toni said. "Just one bottomless moment."* (Toni Packer was the founder of Springwater Center.)

What a relief.

I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from Bare-Bones Meditation by Joan Tollifson**:

"...[L]ife just becomes a lot of mental ideas about an imaginary future. You need to come back again and again to your breath, to the day you are actually having. Not the day you wish you were having, or the day you think you should be having, or the day you know you could be having somewhere else tomorrow, but this day that you are actually having right now," [said Mel].

"Jesus," I thought. "This can't be it."

"Are you still holding out the hope that you'll get there someday?" Mel asked. "That you'll find your ideal life?"

"I know it's impossible, but I'm still holding out the hope," I admitted.

"Your meditation practice will teach you the impossibility." He smiled. "Some people spend their whole lives looking for it, but never doing it," he said. "What is it?" he asked.

I wondered.

"That's your natural koan," Mel told me later. "What is it? Keep asking that question, all the time. Don't try to answer it. Just keep asking. What is it?"

What is it? Wind, bus, thought, insect, sensation, sound, smell, breath. What is it?

All my life I've been waiting for something to happen.


What is it?


for Mindful Monday

© April 28, 2014, post, Donna Pierce

* Tollifson, Joan. Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life. New York: Bell Tower, 1992, p. 223.
** Ibid., p. 33.

Photo credit: "Bottomless Pit" by Majdalenka, 2011.

#mindful #monday #findingGod

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