What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is a breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
- Crowfoot, a Leader of the Blackfoot Nation
In middle age I discover that the only place I can live my life is in the moment. In the here and now. Kind of a radical notion of stillness for people, like you and me, constantly on the go.
So you will understand when I tell you that my eyes did a double take when I saw a book entitled One Moment Meditation (author Martin Boroson) a few weeks ago. My husband and I had taken Friday afternoon off to wander around downtown Hendersonville, NC, and we ended up in a cool bookstore called Zen,etc!
Two hours prior to our trip I had received word that the buyer for a home we just rehabbed and listed has backed out of the purchase contract he signed with us several days prior. I'm feeling stressed and harried from this news. It is in this frame of mind that I step into the bookstore.
I feel a powerful sense of synchronicity and guidance when my eyes light upon the above mentioned book. I pick it up and glance inside for a quick scan. I put it back down. I wander to another pile of books. I return to the first book. Again, I pick it up. And I carry it around with me as a talisman of sorts, as I look at other items of interest. Then I purchase it.
In the book I learn the 1-minute meditation. I've been practicing it since mid-March. During the first 30 days, it is mandatory to use a timer to do the one-minute meditation. I purchased a battery-run electronic timer for $4.95 at Walmart. It's small and compact, and easy to pack.
No matter what my schedule is like, or whether I am at home or out of town, I find this practice portable and doable. After all, you can find 1 minute in your day, I hope! (and if you cannot spare one minute, please have a loved one commit you to a hospital asap!).
The author debunks myths around meditation. He makes the distinction between becoming peaceful, and being peaceful. The former involves striving and adds stress. The idea of peace always being available is intriguing, isn't it?
I've progressed to the second level in the book, and that is practicing the 1-minute meditation without a timer, which involves counting breaths. As I continue with this practice, I will eventually learn how to experience the benefits of meditation in less than a minute.
In the meantime, I notice that, as a result of this practice, I am simply more conscious. I notice what is around me. I don't speed as much (either in the car, or outside of it). When my mind races ahead, I tug it back into the here and now. Maybe, just maybe, I will generate less stress by the way I move and respond to life. It is an hypothesis worth testing!
If you'd like to practice the one-minute meditation, visit the author's site, where he spells out the steps for you.
Wouldn't it be cool if our health insurance premiums could go down if we practiced the one-minute meditation?[Photo Credit: Miguel Saavedra]