This Shining Now: No Contradiction Between Being Present and Taking Action!

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Photo by Thom Ayres

So many of us (me included!) practice meditation, create a writing practice, practice discipline, all the while forgetting that the story vibrating behind our practice is “practice makes perfect.” No wonder we’re frustrated! Chasing perfection, we distract ourselves from the present.

And yet, we’re really looking for a way to simply be present, to embrace what poet David Budbill calls “this shining moment in the now.” Here’s his poem, today’s inspiration to step out of practice, and simply be embodied in our days, in this beautiful season of harvest and preparation.

This Shining Moment in the Now
by David Budbill

When I work outdoors all day, every day, as I do now, in the fall,
getting ready for winter, tearing up the garden, digging potatoes,
gathering the squash, cutting firewood, making kindling, repairing
bridges over the brook, clearing trails in the woods, doing the last of
the fall mowing, pruning apple trees, taking down the screens,
putting up the storm windows, banking the house—all these things,
as preparation for the coming cold…

when I am every day all day all body and no mind, when I am
physically, wholly and completely, in this world with the birds,
the deer, the sky, the wind, the trees…

when day after day I think of nothing but what the next chore is,
when I go from clearing woods roads, to sharpening a chain saw,
to changing the oil in a mower, to stacking wood, when I am
all body and no mind…

when I am only here and now and nowhere else—then, and only
then, do I see the crippling power of mind, the curse of thought,
and I pause and wonder why I so seldom find
this shining moment in the now.

“This Shining Moment in the Now” by David Budbill from While We’ve Still Got Feet. © Copper Canyon Press, 2012.

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