For Just This Moment, Accept What Is. Exactly. As. It. Is. This is the practice of Vipassana. Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for all of our suffering.
Nonresistance (acceptance) of what is takes you immediately into a peaceful state. All of your actions are then of a higher quality and you hold no internal negativity.
What would happen if you accepted this moment fully – including all of your thoughts and emotions? You would instantly be at peace.
For a lighthearted and insightful look at the real-life practice of Vipassana, check out Buddy Wakefield’s “Free Air” TED talk here.
So how does this look in real life…off the yoga mat, in the real world? For me, it looks like this. When my son comes asking me to watch him try a new skateboard trick (for the 900th time today), Vipassana would suggest that I look up, take his hand, and go out and watch, again. And as I’m watching, again, I practice really seeing him, and feeling his excitement, and letting go of the stress of what I’m not getting done, for just this moment.
It also looks like this. When I’m driving my 2005 mini van with the permanent smell of sweaty 9-year-old hockey players, and I see my friend pull up in her Mercedes SUV, I take a deep breath and practice gratitude that I don’t have a car payment, I have a car that runs great, that is full of road trip memories, and I don’t have to stress when sweaty boys mess up my ride.
It means looking in the mirror and seeing the wrinkles as just exactly what they are…signs of the living I’ve done and it has been grand.
It means looking at my husband with love and compassion, and seeing him for the amazing human, partner, father, and friend that he is, right now, not in some imaginary future where everything and everyone is better.
Vipassana is a practice that is so simple, we are tempted to brush it off as another feel-good-hippie idea. And it’s also one of the most difficult things to practice, because the ego HATES things as they are. But just for this moment, look around you. Can you be accepting and content with this moment, just as it is? Take a deep breath, exhale, and for just this moment in time, BE exactly who you are. There is no then, there is only now. And right now, you are exactly who, what and where you were always meant to be. The world needs you to show up right now just AS YOU ARE. And that’s a beautiful thing.
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(Photo courtesy of Scott Liddell)