Monday, January 2, 2012

Each Day is a New Beginning

A fresh attitude starts to happen when we look to see that yesterday was yesterday, and now it is gone; today is today and now it is new. It is like that--every hour, every minute is changing. If we stop observing change, then we stop seeing everything as new.

          --Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
            From: The Places that Scare You, by Pema Chodron, p. 17
The above quote reminds me of a radio interview I heard last week. The interviewee stated that it wasn't important to her to celebrate New Year's Eve because people tend to overemphasize that one day of the year as they resolve to change or improve their lives. Each day, she reminded listeners, is a new beginning.

That's a wonderful way to think about time; it also offers us the opportunity to take personal responsibility for staying in the present moment. Of course, T'ai Chi Chih practice can be a tool for accomplishing that goal. Still, each practice is different. And, as I noticed during my practice this afternoon, some days it's easier to abide in the present and other days it's a challenge to keep the mind focused for one single endless minute.

With the onset of a new year the temperatures have dropped (tonight's low is predicted to be four degrees) and I spend a lot of my time and attention just trying to stay warm. Instead of chop wood, carry water, my daily activities are focused around carry wood, stack wood, and insert wood into stove. Over and over and over again. Some days there's a wonderful comfort that comes from that routine and, on others, it's simply a chore.

Naturally, it's important to treasure every moment although we tend to take too many hours of our lives for granted. During a conversation with a 93-year-old friend today I mentioned that my days pass more and more quickly and, as a result, the years do too. He readily agreed.

May the coming year be filled with precious moments, hours, days, weeks, and months for us all....

No comments: