When Time Stands Still
“Every moment is the greatest” – Buddha
When was the last time a moment in your life left you speechless?
It was 8am on my third day at the Osho Meditation centre in Pune, India.
I had just come out of a silent hour-long meditation and I decided to sit down in one of the many lawn chairs by the Zorba pool to relax. Having not eaten anything yet since morning, I opened up my backpack and took out the fruit and lychee juice I had brought for breakfast.
The centre is situated in Koregaon park and has beautiful grounds. As I sat there, I soaked it all in – the view of the beautiful pool, the shade of a bamboo tree to my right, a graceful bodhi tree to my left and lush trees around me which looked like gigantic broccoli.
All of the shrubs and plants were frosted with morning dew, the sun glistened through the branches of the trees, and the smell of spring was in the air.
Little birds were singing and crows were cawing, all to the gentle backdrop of the sound of water lapping against the side of the pool.
I felt at peace.
All of a sudden, on an otherwise completely still morning, there was a gust of wind. What followed was one of the most beautifully orchestrated moments I’ve ever witnessed.
Little leaves and seeds began to fall from the foliage of the giant trees near me, creating a playful dance in the air as they fell to the ground. Yellow flowers rained down from great heights, spiraling and spinning like helicopters. I looked up in awe as it showered down on me. It must have lasted at least 10 minutes. After it was over, the people near me and I looked at each other and smiled knowing how incredible what we had just experienced was.
Words cannot even begin to describe the euphoria I felt in this moment. It was painfully beautiful.
They say that yoga and meditation expands your capacity to experience life. Through experiencing meditation for the first time at the centre, I felt an expansion in my chest and began feeling the beauty in each moment.
What made this moment even more special was that this moment reminded me of the Buddha.
As the story goes, when Buddha reached enlightenment, all of the leaves of the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha was meditating fell off and showered him out of reverence.
I feel as though my experience at Osho was a small glimpse of what enlightenment must be like, and feel so grateful for this experience.
Reflecting on it now, I realize the value of experiencing each moment instead of walking around in my head all the time. I am analytical by nature, and although this helps in certain contexts, it isn’t always useful when it results in me missing out on things around me because I am too caught up in my mind.
Some moments are simply too beautiful to miss out on.
Maybe like me, you too get caught up in your mind and the business of life. With the hope that this may help you as it has helped me, here are a few things I do in order to practice mindfulness, be present and ensure I savour the moment:
Standing or sitting still, I interrupt my mind’s chatter, and refocus my attention on my breath. Breathing from my diaphragm, I take a few deep breaths. I allow my breath to reach a slow, gentle rhythm, observing the rise and fall of each inhale and exhale.
I tune into my five senses, one at a time. For instance, I start by only focusing my attention what I see, and try to look around and take in all that is in my visual field. I just look, without using my mind to process, label or judge the information my eyes are taking in.
Still focusing on my breath, I notice the feeling within in me from what I am experiencing through my senses.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for my other senses i.e. For my sense of touch, feeling the clothes on my skin, the air around me, and the ground beneath my feet.
Doing these steps helps me be more present, look around more often, and take in things that I may otherwise miss. It allows me to sense and feel the bliss within me as a result of beautiful moments in my surroundings. It allows me to feel the energy radiated by other living things, show compassion for them and reminds me how interconnected life is on this planet. Most importantly, like a breath of fresh air, it reminds me to slow down, to stop, and take in life’s beauty.
Breathe in life. Notice the moment. Feel its beauty.
Wishing you a week ahead full of beautiful moments,