Apr 12, 2008

This moment is complete

Sensei said, “complete this moment before moving on to the next,” What did she mean when she said that? How long is a moment, and how do you know when it is complete?

I often live in my head rather than in the world. By that, I mean that I have an active imagination and I am always thinking about what comes next and what will happen and what will I do if this or that happens. While I am day dreaming or imagining disaster or concocting fantasies in my head or planning out my next move, I miss what is actually going on around me. I am famous for saying to other people, “what just happened?” or “what did I miss?” My husband gets exasperated with me. “Don’t you know? You were here, where did you go?”

For me the challenge is to stay in the world rather than retreat into my head. When they tell me to stay present, I am most often staying future. Some people have trouble because they are staying past and always thinking regrets or would have, should have or could have.

So I think completing this moment is staying in the world, to simply notice where I am and what is going on around me rather than what is going inside my head and imagining or fantasizing what I think is going on or want to go on or should be going on. Tea study helps me stay out of my head because all I have to worry about is what I am doing right now. It focuses me on what my body and hands are doing.

Sensei also said, “Tea practice gets us out of our heads and into our bodies so that we can touch our souls.”

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