Monday, 29 October 2012

mindfulness, one hairpin curve at a time


One of the characteristics of New Zealanders that I admire is their genuine appreciation of the natural beauty, and the general lifestyle, surrounding them.  Repeatedly, I have heard Kiwis proclaim how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful and safe environment.

Do awe-inspiriing scenes of nature render a population more mindful?  And appreciative?

Stopping and appreciating the view, or combing the sea for dolphin or orca, or looking out from your boat or kayak for outcroppings of rocks and sand bars, negotiating rocky terrain, driving in the rain, coping with unpredictable weather changes, minding the winding, hairpin curves and no-shoulder mountainous roads . . .  do these type of day to day exercises that require total concentration have a global effect on a societies ability to center on the moment at hand?

Yes, it is easier to "be in the moment" when there is so much natural beauty surrounding you in any given moment.  The real challenge is to be mindfully centered when a we find ourselves in a situation that creates an ideal setting for the mind to roam.

Beauty lies in wait to be found.  Even in the midst of what, at first glance, our mind tells us is ugly or undesirable.  It is our job, in that moment, to find beauty.

And when, try as hard as we might, we cannot find the awe?

Stay with the breath and acknowledge every detail of what presents itself . . . and try acceptance.

Or work towards meaningful change of that which you cannot accept.

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