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Mind and Matter: Their Is
A Message In Every Moment

The popular belief goes that our mind and our material surroundings are impediments to self discovery, but the opposite may be true. That’s a modest seeker’s perception. The crucial point is that mind and matter -- when deeply touched by a moment as it unfolds -- reveal our experience of connection with our true selves. The obvious question is how to go about finding spiritual experiences in our daily lives? The answer lies in just one word, replacing the ‘how’ with ‘when’.

Let’s take a few examples. How many times do we wash our hands in a day? Perhaps many times and usually with soap and water. It is a spontaneous and repetitive part of our daily routine, which goes unnoticed as we move from morning to night. But then, if the mind is brought suddenly to connect with the touch of ordinary soap and water on the hands, it becomes still. There is a sudden awareness about the feel of the soap, the washing away of dirt from the skin and the clean touch of flowing water.

In a traffic jam, we fret about getting late for meetings. Great believers in advance planning even work out the shortest route to our destination. It’s natural to feel frustrated but just look at the map lying on the passenger seat and it can be a moment of awareness because a map can plan the journey for you, not drive you to your destination.

I’ve been travelling non-stop for the last couple of days and though it sounds exciting to transit between international destinations, it is actually a physical burnout. As I walk through my n-th glass tube air terminal, I crave fresh air. I notice a smoker’s lounge in the terminal and pause to introspect: “Why have we never considered spaces to breathe in fresh air in these never-ending, encapsulated air-conditioned giants.” All of these are what one might call “pure” experiences. Translating the magic of such moments into words creates a dilemma. Verbalization is a poor substitute for description because part of any experience is also the moment of pure awareness, which remains indescribable.

But there is another part of such experiences that is easier to share. Watching the spontaneous action of washing one’s hands with such care can make one aware of one’s personality. It can make a person realize how much he or she values hygiene and health. One can even wonder if one keeps one’s mind as clean? If only we could wash our minds with soap and water every few hours!

It is not a good feeling to wake in the morning with residual anger from last night’s arguments. You don’t want to begin a new day on such a note. But, quite often I find myself waking up that way. Then unexpectedly, making my morning cup of tea, the steam escaping from the kettle connects my emotional steam into a moment of pure stillness and deep awareness.

I’m so angry, I relate to the boiling water. I transcend my morning space filled with anger through introspection. The change of perception comes about because of a moment of pure connection with ordinary boiling water in a kettle.

Sounds simple and easy. Then, why does this experience escape us much of the time? The fact remains that we all live in successive units of present moments, but not with experience of the same. Our minds are permanently preoccupied with past and future thoughts.

Through our awareness, ordinary moments of life transmit deeper messages, which guide us to introspect on current paradigms and prejudices. These experiences may change our attitude and personality.

Meditative experiences may involve the good, the bad and the ugly in our daily lives. We can start by observing what we have in the given moment, then go on to embrace and amalgamate with the humour, the tragedy, the challenge, opportunity and learning hidden within each moment.

We can go through each moment with a new reverence, almost a romantic anticipation.


Reference Sources 202
November 26, 2009

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