Yoga thought for the day: Surfing the web, I’ve found oodles of quotes about living in the moment, approaching each day as if it were your last, making the most of every day, and related themes. My absolute favorite of these is this short and eloquent verse:
Waking up this morning, I smile Twenty-four brand new hours are before me I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion. – Thich Nhat Hanh (b.1926, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist)
What I like about this gatha, this verse, is that it assumes that a day well spent would necessarily include the quality of my interaction with others. The quality of my day is not just about my self, but about others. And not just other people, but “all beings.”
I also like that the thought of the new day first thing upon waking makes me smile – makes me happy. Even if on a particular day there may be things I am not looking forward to, or even possibly dreading, if I can start the day from this place of delight, it’s bound to be a better day than if I cannot. Each day is a gift. But I have to want to believe it, and then I have to believe it, and I have to do that before any negative thoughts have a chance to be the welcome wagon for my day.
I like the word “vow” in this gatha. This word choice gives the verse some weight. I’m not just going to “try” or “aspire.” I vow. I am serious about this. I solemnly pledge.
And finally what I like about this gatha is that each and every morning I have twenty-four brand new hours to take this vow, to make this happen – to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion. Not just occasionally during the day, but “in each moment.”
If I decide that it’s worth it to cultivate this kind of present attention in each moment, this kind of awareness, compassion and kindness, then I must practice. Through all my thoughts, words and actions, throughout the day. And with that, it’s time for breakfast!
pineapple, orange and cranberry-apple sauce compote