This week I borrowed a unique documentary from my local library, Walk With Me, a contemplative journey which follows the steps of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, with rare insights into life within a monastic community. So begins Max Pugh and Marc J. Francis’ fascinating exploration of what it means to devote one’s life to mindfulness.
“With unprecedented access to the famous secluded monastery of Plum Village in the South West of France, Walk With Me captures the daily routine and rituals of monks and nuns on a quest to develop a deep sense of presence. It is an insightful rumination on the pursuit of happiness, living in the present and our attachment to material things – a welcome remedy to the stresses of city life and a world in turmoil.” — Laure Bonville
What I found most fascinating about this immersion into monastic life is how similar it can be to life outside of cities, where life is luxuriously slow and overflowing with simple joys. The theme is crystal clear:
Be here now. There is no past, there is no future, just this moment…
One of the ways this short film has changed my life is in my desire to be more contemplative in each moment. For example when I first wake up I now love to look out at the birds outside my door. I find them to be the perfect topic for my first meditation of the day.
Wild animals do not sit around thinking about their past or imagining their future, because if they focused much on that they would not survive for long. We were also once totally focused on the present moment. We had to be. But now we have the luxury of too much time, so we think about way too much stuff!
Luckily the mind can be trained over and over again. Today we can decide to stop all the concern and worry about everything else in the world, and focus on this moment before us, the only one we truly have.
“There is a fire inside. Sit down beside it. Watch the flames, the ancient, flickering dance of yourself.” — John MacEnulty
6 thoughts on “Learning how to live in the present moment”
This is a perfect post for #WellnessWednesday – I am going to try and enjoy every moment and not worry about what’s to come in the future.
I use my morning walk to contemplate life. I’ve become so addicted to it I go crazy when I have to miss it, which is rarely. Walking is Zen to me and I just listen to what is happening around me even though I live in the city.
Good for you Rebecca! Long walks are such a great way to meditate. Ask Thoreau, he wrote “The Fine Art of Sauntering.”
I wrote about this subject today Laura Lee! My grandson helps me live in the moment when we play. It certainly is such a wondrous time with no stress.
Isn’t it a nice change to just simply be present Sue? Kids are the best at this. They haven’t learned to worry yet!
It finally got warm enough for me to go out and clean the yard and garden. It’s amazing how a simple task can bring you into the moment.