I look out of the window, across the rooftops.
The sun slowly sinks, setting the sky on fire with its orange hue.
As the week draws to a close, part of me wants to reflect on what has been and what is to come, part of me wants to be right here in this moment.
The past and the future all flicker through my awareness, vying for attention.
I look at my feet. Oh good, they are still there firmly rooted to the spot, I am here. I look out of the window again, the sun sinking further.
It is okay, it is okay.
I remember we can hold it all lightly. Just thoughts passing through.
There was a time, I could spend days and days lost in the past. Re-living hours and weeks. Meanwhile the sun sank as it is doing now, without me seeing it.
There was a time, I could spend days and days in the future, worrying, planning, making up scenarios, playing them all out in my mind. Meanwhile the sun sank as it is doing now without me seeing it.
Something has changed
Backwards and forwards my mind goes.
Like I was talking gently to an old friend I have known for a long time, I address my mind.
“its okay my friend you can look back, you can look forward but let’s try it here for a while, here in this moment. Rest here in this moment for a while, watch the sun set, look at the colours, take it all in, breathe gently my friend”.
No matter how mindful we are, our mind will go back and forwards, it will wander, why battle to stop this.
Ending the battle
There was a time, I thought I must not be doing this right. My mind is still wandering.
Haha, who was I to think I could stop the mind from wandering.
I know (I thought), I will put the mind on a tight leash and try to spend every moment in the present.
Did that work, umm no way. Layer, upon layer of thought would be built, this isn’t working, I am not doing this right, turned into I am useless, turned into lets dwell in the past and so on and so on.
So lets cut the mind some slack, give it a long leash.
Whoosh, of it went, back and forwards, ruminating, thinking.
The middle way
So maybe there is something in the middle, a middle length leash.
We can observe the mind wander, and gently bring it back, wander again and gently bring it back, wander again and gently bring it back, over and over. Just enough slack but not too much.
No battle, just a gentle but firm awareness of what is going on. There is some peace here.
This is the practice, the middle way, gentle but firm.
So here we are. The end of another week, we can look back, we can look forward, it really is okay.
We don’t have to stay in the past or stay in the future.
There is somewhere else, right here, right now.
Gentle but firm, come back.
Plant your feet firmly into the floor, look out take it all in.
Know that there is some peace right here in this moment. Let it be what it is. Know that this moment is forever changing, evolving, moving, like the sun setting on the horizon.
Let the battle end.