by Allan Friedman
When I first held my baby and looked into her (& his) eyes, it was a special moment beyond words. We both paused to drink deeply, and it felt as if nothing else mattered, as if "time stood still." We savored the moment.We still have those moments, but much more often we have been caught up in the daily hash of schoolwork, music practice, wear this, eat that, don't hit, etc. I have often forgotten the wonder of my children and instead taken them for granted.
Just as I savor my children, I also savor simple pleasures. I like to feel every note (and space) when listening to Pachelbel's Canon, to concentrate on each sip of carrot juice, to feel each stroke of a back-scratch, or to feel the sun on bare skin. It would be a loss to chug carrot juice like water, to think about the mortgage payment during sex, or to watch TV over dinner.
It's so easy to go through each day caught up in deadlines, hustle, goal achievement, grim duties, etc. without remembering to savor. Today as I carried a bucket of slop to the compost heap, I stopped to appreciate the carpet of autumn leaves with their veins highlighted by shadows from the sun's oblique afternoon light. Each morning in the shower, I try to concentrate fully on the pleasant sensations of the warm water. Yet, after months of trying, I still haven't made it through even a brief shower without my mind wandering ahead to the day's activities, urgencies, and grievances.
I like to pause for a colorful sunset, a slender crescent moon, or a vivid starry night, but again my mind wanders after a few moments. When I traveled 2000 miles to see a total solar eclipse, it was a challenge to keep my mind fully appreciating the spectacle for 4 minutes. The same is true for ten minutes of (eye contact) co-meditation.Wouldn't it be wonderful if every sip of water was as delicious as that time I was so thirsty? If every breath were like that first deep draught after an underwater swim? If every hug were like my first?
A veteran's memorial proclaims:
"To those who have fought for it, Life has a special flavor unknown to the protected."
That "special flavor" is exactly the extra zing that I am seeking. It is diametrically opposite to "is that all there is?" Life would be so much richer if I could savor every sensation, every emotion, every aspect of Creation. What would it be like if every moment were powerful enough to give me goosebumps? This must be what is meant by "consciousness"--or at least one aspect of it. I don't know if I even care whether I achieve my intellectualized concept of Enlightenment or Consciousness, but I know from my experiences of savoring that I want to savor more deeply, more often, for longer moments, and I believe that I will attain that from my work with Tayu.