Each morning I greet the day with a half-an-incense stick of meditation. Legs crossed, back straight, arms circled and hands touching in the ancient mudra, I breathe myself into the world. Sometimes entertaining the planning mind’s projected program, sometimes letting it flit by and dissolve as a good Buddhist should. 3 bows at the end, out to the deck for another bow to the Kwan Yin (Goddess of Compassion) statue that looks over our garden. Back in for my 3-minute back stretches and to the table for breakfast.
While I have been sitting zazen, my oatmeal has been absorbing the boiling water I pour into the bowl and then cover and the timing is impeccable. I breathe in the air, the oatmeal the water and we’re both ready at the same time. I deal out the cards for my ritual 3 games of solitaire and eat while I ponder the possibilities of which card to move.
But today, I decided to eat the oatmeal before playing, with full attention to its taste, texture and temperature and that felt right. A step back from the hyper-speed of multi-tasking that has modern culture skating over the surface of life without taking the needed time to savor. It tasted delicious, warming both the body and the spirit. And then even more attention to the games that followed.
And so I publicly proclaim this as my New Year’s Resolution. This I can do. Away with the boring “lose five pounds,” the grandiose “work for World Peace,” the good-intentioned-but ain’t-gonna-happen “love everyone more and forgive all those who’ve done me wrong.” Well, all of those are fine as far as they go, but usually they go as far as January 2ndor 3rd. This feels more realistic.
Eat oatmeal attentively. Then the cards.
It’s going to be a great year.