Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ponder This Sunday

I am reading the book Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, Ph.D. She speaks about pausing. She writes, "when we are caught up in striving and obsessing and leaning into the future, pausing enables us to reenter the mystery and vitality only found here and now." (Ie: in the present moment).
She suggests we "weave" pausing into our daily life. Even in the midst of an activity, we can stop, take a few breaths, check out our bodies for tightness and anxiety, and just observe the world around us as it is. Hmm, mustard flowers. Hmm, bird calls. Hmm, cars honking.
When I was younger, I rushed from one activity to the next, without conscious pause. I was never really DOING the activity with my whole self, but was always thinking ahead to the next activity that needed to be done. No wonder I felt stressed. When I began to pause between or during activities I taught myself to relax. What is so important about vacuuming the entire house all at once? Who cares? Well, I was never one to get into housecleaning big time anyway, but that's just an example.

Here's an experiment from Tara Brach. This week, choose one activity you do daily and commit to pausing before or after the activity. Just observe. Be present. Be aware of your surroundings and your inner self.

"In the midst of a pause, we are giving room and attention to the life that is always streaming through us, the life that is habitually overlooked. It is in this rest...that we realize the natural freedom of our heart and awareness. ...rather than running away, we need only commit ourselves to arriving, here and now, with wholehearted presence." pg.70

13 comments:

Cestandrea said...

Hi Suki, how good it feels to read you again. Your words always make me pause and ponder, thanks.
So finally the blossoms have opened in NH too:)
love
Andrea

Honour said...

Lovely post, Suki. I try to do this ... inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh in Peace is Every Step. But I forget. And the message sometimes gets lost in "daily" activities and losing the newness of the practice ... and it's just nice to have it repeated in another form, by another kindred spirit out there as a reminder ... today I will observe. Thank you :)

sukipoet said...

Hi Andrea. Thanks for stopping by. I missed you but am so happy you had a fun vacation. Yes, the blossoms have finally opened for the early things. Still Way behind many other places. The flowers so beautiful.

Honor, I forget too, all the time. But my life is so much more flowing when I do pause. A person might think that taking the time to pause would give them not enough time to do all the things they must do. But the truth is when I take the time to pause I feel like I have more time and focus and energy for when I'm in action. Namaste, Suki

Lynn said...

I am pausing after coming in from a walk...hot...sweaty...breathing noticable...hair in face...thirsty...heart beating...

and then getting to your blog...next activity...drinking ice water...feels good going down...feels good in mouth...brush hair out of face...body happy to have moved...

pausing...

to look at your paintings below

I like the changes...
I liked them before too...
purple in trees is nice to my eye
black bugs aren't noticable now
perhaps you zapped them out

pausing...

breath slowing down
sweat drying
face smiling
aware of the here
and now

Wishing
you
a
happy
Sunday

marianne said...

Oh Suki, wonderful words and so true!
I need to do that more.
You know what I did today?
I lay in my deckchair today for 1/2 hour! I never do that , this pause was thanks to you, of what you wrote in your comment on the photo's of my garden. I realized I never did that, I simply don't take the time.
Today I did. I took a plaid, it was a little cold but the sun was lovely and took a nap. I had my 2 dogs on top of my chest and before I fell asleep I enjoyed it toroughly.
Thanks Suki!

Britt-Arnhild said...

A good advice.

Have you realized how you breath? You breath in, breath out and then take a short pause. Witout the pause you start to stress.

sukipoet said...

Lynne I had to laugh at your comment. Pant pant. Pause pause. Walking in that heat! Good for you, or maybe it has cooled down a bit now. glad you are pausing too.

Marianne. oh how lovely. A nice long pause in your beautiful garden. I must get me a lounge lawn chair. Still havent found one. I like that picture of you sleeping with the dogs too.

Britt-Arnhild, I guess I hadn't thought about that pause after the outbreath. But i just observed myself breathing and yes, there it is. Built in to ourselves if we only look. And I looked thanks to you.

katie jane said...

I do practice this and it works! I have a very rushed and fast paced life and I really need the moment to pause. I also incorporated the practice of 4 o'clock tea or something like it each day. We need to re-learn to slow down and not try to do it all each day.

sukipoet said...

KatieJane. I just love 4 o'clock tea. I used to do that when my son was little. Now, because of my lifestyle, I have my cups of tea whenever during the day. But yes, sitting down with a cuppa is so nice.

human being said...

wow! what a wonderful post... and it has triggered lovely comments...

Suki, the amazing photos along with the peaceful words just were a meditation session for me...
i have the same feeling i had when we meditated at the end of each session in our Yoga class (once i practiced Yoga regularly)

after the meditation, the teacher would say," now open your eyes", and Gosh! when i opened them i had a feeling that everything had changed colors... painted anew!
your post had the same feeling...

i really do believe in pause... i've lived by it ... since childhood!
Funny my mother sometimes got impatient when i was helping her in some of the house chores...
- why do you take your time doing that? ... it could have been finished in a shorter time...
and my answer always was:
- i want to enjoy it, mom!

Cris in Oregon said...

How did I miss this post. I look and nothing is here and then later there it is. I think maybe I NEED to pause now and then. lol
Good advice Suki. I find I am rushing thru my day. . for not reason really .. just think I have to accomplish something but then I stop and sit outside and really enjoy our area. Breath in the smells and listen to the sweet sounds of bird song. Ahhhh Thats why we moved here and we are rushing it by. Thanks for the reminder.

Forever Young said...

i can only pause when all is done, during the day at school there is no time to pause...when i read all my friend's blogs it makes me pause and ponder, read and enjoy.thats why i love my bed so much,there i can truly pause and relax and let go.

sukipoet said...

HB You practiced yoga! So great. Yes, things do look refreshed after a pause which is a little meditation I think. Love the story of your childhood. "I want to enjoy it, Mom." Made me chuckle.

Cris, i sometimes rush too for no reason. It is an ingrained habit. I too need reminders. Breathe. Pause.

FY I can see how it would be hard to pause when teaching little children. Yikes. I chuckled at "that's why I love my bed so much." At one point I had a huge bed, just for me and my cats, and I'd read and write and lounge around in it. But then insomnia hit me and so now I'm just abed when going to sleep.