I went to see my dear friend Allison yesterday, a talented woman with magical hands who works at Sanctuary on 2nd, where I go for the occasional bodywork session. I love talking with her because she is so wise beyond her years, 10 years my junior. When we chat about our yoga practices she says things like “well, I just try to be a beginner in every class.” Brilliant! It’s an amazing perspective, especially when trying to overcome bad habits, laziness, or find new openings.
Aside from dismounting the massage table with a body that felt like a frozen stick of butter brought back to room temperature suppleness, she also gave me a small gift – a tiny little book called Heart of a Buddha. She said it was a freebie from one of our favorite veggie joints in Chinatown (New Harmony, if you’re curious) and if I wanted it, I could have it. “I’d love to take it! I need some inspiration in my life today! Thank you!” I think she knew I liked it because I was snapping pictures of random pages. This one in particular made me stop and think about how so many spiritual philosophies relate back to one universal message.
Ever hear of the saying “be here now”? It’s the 60’s-esque hippie vibe way of expressing mindfulness, and is easily dismissed, but its true meaning is found in so many spiritual guides. In Yoga we often talk about quieting the mind, clearing out the clutter, and focusing on the present. Letting go of the past, whether as deep as trauma or as seemingly inconsequential as a regretted snarky comment, is part of the work of Yoga. So is letting go of expectations and demands of the future. Be present and focused, and the future will unfold, is what I am told. Over planning may only lead to disappointment. Don’t get me wrong here – it’s good to have goals and ambitions that prevent us from being lazy – but to what end? We must challenge ourselves to remain calm and yet sway with the cosmic winds in times of uncertainty and change. If we can’t flex, we might break. So how do we do that? By living fully in the present moment, without a laser locked focus on a certain future outcome. It seems so opposite of what we learn in school, and awakening to this philosophy can be confusing, frustrating and scary! If all of this Yoga Sutra and “Be Here Now” philosophy seems a little too complicated, my Buddha book summarizes in simplicity all that really needs to be said in the photo above. Don’t worry about the philosophy books and create your own commentary. I hope it brings a little smile.
What is your favorite “be here now” philosophy or phrase to remind yourself that “it’s all good”?