OK, so this morning I really put my attention towards being mindful. I mean really mindful.
Now some of you may start reading this, and get bored, but I hope you will stick with it and hear me out.
So as I took my shower I was thinking how thankful I am to have this wonderful shower to stand in, and the hot water that soothes my body. Then I thought, how fortunate to have this nice thick washcloth to wash with and nice smelling soap to clean with. I thought about how many people in this World do not know these pleasures that I usually take for granted. A simple thing like a hot water is a rare commodity for so many people. As I ended my shower, I dried myself with a luxurious towel then applied oil to my skin so it does not feel dry all day long. I became more grateful, and realized I am living like a King compared to so many others.
As I started dressing, I applied skin cream to my face and arms. Again seeing how fortunate I am to have these luxuries. Deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, hair spray, hair brush, electric shaver, cologne, the list goes on and on.
As I continued dressing, I became mindful of the nice clean clothes that I am putting on. Grateful for these clothes, and grateful to my Wife and little girl who clean and iron these for me with love in their Hearts.
Then I thought about how blessed I am to have these fine clothes, a warm house to live in, and safety where I live. These too are things that so many others do not have. How many human beings live in fear right now, wishing for safety of their Family. How many are cold and sick with nowhere to turn for shelter or aid.
As my mind became aware of this, I thought too of the workers in so many countries who labored so hard to produce these clothes that I wear. Perhaps for as little as a dollar a day.
And what of the animals who gave their lives so I have nice shoes or a belt to wear.
I wondered, am I now being mindful of all things? And I quickly realized I had forgotten my body. I turned my attention towards thanking my legs for supporting me that I may move about and am able to reach others and help them. Thankful for my arms that they allow me to hug my Family, my children and Grandchildren, my Wife and my friends. My hands that allow me to feed myself and cloth myself. I became grateful for the breath I take that fills my lungs and pumps my heart. I am alive, I am breathing, I am aware, I can see this moment. How wonderful!
Now everything that I just shared with you took place in only about twenty minutes. So how did I do, did I pass the test? Perhaps.
But I do see now, so clearly, that mindfulness truly exists in each and every breath. This is how I need to practice. Mindful, aware, open, loving, kind, no expectation, no judgment, just right here in this moment completely awake. And as you may already know, the word Buddha means awakened one. Perhaps I was a Buddha for just a moment. We all have this nature, I believe it is right in front of us.
I wish this awakening for each of you, and pray that I may be present and mindful every day… every moment.
Peace and blessing on each of you.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love Born out of concern for all beings…
As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become.
— The Dhammapada