I am here…

I am back from a week away at Cancun, Mexico. Blue waters and sun-kissed sands… the sound of the ocean is so healing! And during this week, my practice was returning over and over to the mantra: I am HERE. 

Photo of sunrise taken on Solstice morning 12/21/22 in Cancun, Mexico.

Here is the word buddhist teacher Gil Fronsdal offers for the first of seven factors of awakening that support the path of awakening and freedom. Coming back to Here for me was sensing the sand under my toes, the sounds of the rise and fall of ocean waves, seeing the blue of the ocean and watching the pelicans glide the wind, dive down into the waters and swim, so seemingly effortlessly! It was feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, tasting the tapioca pudding for breakfast, smelling the salty air and the receiving the water washing my toes as I stood on the beach. Here. 

Returning and sustaining our attention on the sensations of the present moment helps us stay grounded with change, and attend to our inner needs in a kind way and attune to the needs of others by reading their body language. Here allows wisdom to unfold in a way that feels so organic, tender and natural. Every time our attention wanders and we notice IS an opportunity to return Here. Here is laughter, ease, contentment, joy, bliss, awe, solitude, companionship and most of all: riding the waves of change with ease.

In his book Neurodharma, Rick Hansen talks about having a positive experience, enriching it and absorbing it so that it becomes an implicit memory and is more readily available during moments of stress. Perhaps, savoring the experiences of this past week by feeling them in my body and noticing the moments of ease, connection and beauty, I have deepened my own sense of well-being. This morning waking up without ocean sounds, I could remember them, recollect how they felt in my body and relax. And return to the Here now.

I am home now – in my daughter’s room as I listen to piano sounds wafting up from her playing Silent Night. Here is silent. No ocean waves. Here is wonderful! 

Are you Here? Take a few moments to sense your body, your breath, the sounds, the temperature. Are you comfortable?  Are you safe? What does your here feel like? 

I leave you with this beautiful track – one of my favorites on Insight Timer. May you be safe, and may your Here be filled with ease.

With love, S.

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