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There is an excitement about fall for me – lots of new opportunities spring up– it’s the beginning of a new school year for many; a time to begin a new class at Unity, join a new yoga class, take on new leadership positions in the community. In the fall, I’m refreshed and energized from the relaxed pace of summer that has given me more time for centering and inner reflection. In the past, the fall excitement has soon turned into stress as my schedule fills up and my centering time goes out the window! But how can I stay centered within my busy life? I know that for me, quiet meditation time is very important but the reality of my life often doesn’t lend itself to extended alone time.
Happily, I am approaching this fall with a new way of looking at spirit connection thanks in part to a book I have read by the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, entitled, “Living Buddha, Living Christ.”
Thich Nhat Hanh says, “The question is not whether to be engaged with the world or not. The question is how to engage without losing the contemplative life. The key is to live each moment in mindfulness. The monk practices mindful breathing while performing his daily tasks, eats in mindfulness, washes his bowl as though he is bathing the baby Buddha, helps the sick and the wounded as though he is serving the Buddha, and looks deeply at each object he comes into contact with – an orange, a raindrop, a leaf, or a dying person. This is the contemplative life. The well of Spirit is within us. If we dig deeply into the present moment, through mindfulness, the water will spring forth.”
By using the technique of mindfulness as often as I can, I find myself, as Hanh says, “resting in God where the Holy Sprit/Christ/Buddha is flowing through us.” I don’t have to do anything else but be aware of its presence. The peace, the insights, the creativity all come just by being in the presence of Spirit. That is something I can do over and over again throughout the day in little tiny pieces of time. I don’t have to have a large stretch of alone time. I am finding that by being mindful and fully present in the moment I can touch Spirit even in the midst of what may be chaotic and noisy. The Kingdom of God really can be here and now if we let it!