by cheri block
Yoga has taught me to push my mind back to the present moment every time it strays.
I find this effort rewarding but challenging. Staying in the present moment is experiential; that is, we guide ourselves into, through, and out of the moments of our lives, even if they are sad, scary, or maddening.
Life becomes as rich as cheesecake.
The person yapping in the airplane seat next to you becomes an opportunity for character study.
The new wrinkle you notice on your face becomes impetus to focus away from the physical and toward the spiritual or mystic or intellectual.
The sense of self-importance we feel in certain situations becomes a way to view our own insecurities.
The disappointment, annoyance, frustration we allow to invade our sacred and cherished beliefs become growth hormones.
At this present moment on the balcony, I watch a zig-zagging electric line of ants picking apart a dead moth carcass and I am reminded of Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage: in one stark scene, Henry Fleming sees a young dead soldier’s body propped against the trunk of a tree. Ants crawl up and down the body which was once someone’s son or husband. Crane illustrates the temporal nature of the human experience, but more importantly, of our relationship to the natural world.