life is fleeting

July 29, 2010

The other night my bike was stolen. It was more than just a method of transportation, it was a form of currency. In particular, a way to connect, to feel something — much the way people look for sensation and happiness from material objects. Yes, I’m aware that my bike is a material item, and that’s exactly why I’m writing this post.

As most of you know, I’ve spent the past eight weeks or so in yoga training, to become a teacher. You could go as far to call it life training, because after all, yoga is the practice of life. The other 12 students and I, along with teachers, have become a family. We challenge each other, laugh, revel in the delight of a simple, happy life, and even cry together. We’re breaking down our walls of complacency and hierarchical-driven notions of the way we should live based on a standardized American ideal. That we’ve been taught (and believe) we need to follow the traditional path of college –> job –> retire when you’re 70 is damaging the collective oneness in which we exist within the Universe. Certainly this path is not wrong, as long as what you do brings happiness and awareness to your life, and you’re affecting those in your company positively.

Back to the origin of this post. One lesson that has become most powerful for me is attachment, and the notion that life is fleeting, and can only be experienced in the present. I rode my bike to a concert, enjoyed the music within the confines of Stubb’s, and came back out to find it gone. My intuition from the evening prepared me, and I’ve overcome the initial-loss hurdle, but I was sad. Sad because I loved that bike and I was proud of it. Sad because I knew I was never going to see it again. But the greater lesson here is that attachment to things, people, etc. causes suffering. We must remember to experience life and love non-conditionally and in the moment. By this, and I’m referring to loving someone here, we enjoy every moment spent with someone and do not place boundaries (“I’ll love you if you do this,” or “you always…”), or expectations on the relationship. A good way to examine this is if you were to lose a loved one today, you would not feel sad or empty, but rather appreciative of the moments you spent with them. That said, live each day as if it were your last. Fill your days with accomplishments and conscious living.

If we choose to see the beauty in everything, life is much more enjoyable. If we lose the labels we’ve used for centuries, we find that each experience is new. Start with the easiest of all awareness: the beauty of nature and it’s intricacy.

peace.

Photo by CiCi Parsons

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