Every morning I do a guided meditation through the daily calm app. There’s usually a theme, and it’s usually pretty insightful and helpful on my journey of self-awareness. I enjoy the ten or so minutes I take each morning to sit and just contemplate a single thought before I start my day.
This morning was no different. I sat down on my meditation cushion and pulled the blanket over my lap, put my headphones in and grabbed my mala beads. The meditation was titled ‘choice’, and centered on our choice each moment to concentrate on what was and what will be, or the current moment we’re in. I struggle with this – I’m always thinking of the staircase, and not the stair I’m on. So, I focused on the moment – the scents of orange and geranium from my essential oils, the beads between my fingers, the sound of traffic whizzing past my window, barely heard over the thunderstorm theme I had set in the app. It was quiet and peaceful.
After several minutes of concentrating on the moment, the instructor broke through to impart her wisdom of the day. She shared a story about a Zen master who was walking through a forest. The story goes that he’s just walking along, minding his own business, when a tiger or lion or some other ferocious cat comes up and decides it wants to eat him. So now he’s being chased by this cat and slips and falls off a cliff. Below him is an abyss and above him is this animal waiting to eat him. And as if that isn’t a bad enough day, two mice come along and decide to eat the vine he’s holding onto.
And this motherfucker sees a strawberry and decides while he’s literally facing death that he’s going to eat it.
Y’all. I can’t.
The instructor said that the cat above him represents the past and the abyss below him represents the future and the strawberry represents the moment we’re in. And instead of worrying about the past or the future he’s just cool with the moment.
I would definitely be more worried about the cat wanting to eat me or the abyss I’m about to fall into or the asshole mice trying to speed the process up than a fucking strawberry.
I guess I’m just not Zen enough.
The idea is mostly a good one though. Enjoy each moment and be grateful for what you have. The future isn’t here yet and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about the past.
Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.Corrie Ten Boom