Waking Up!

Waking up this morning, I smile; aware that there are twenty-four brand new hours for me to live. Whether we live these hours deeply and wholeheartedly depends on the quality of our awareness and our capacity to maintain this aware¬ness. So simple waking up – so challenging doing it with awareness!

We live most of the time without awareness that we are even alive, not noticing our loved ones or the simple joy of a small flower on our path. Our society has imparted on us this way of living – in forgetfulness, in a rush – passing from door to door, always having to catch up, and wishing we had more than 24 hours. And if we did, we would still want more.

Waking up in reverence and wonder is possible. We take the time to wake up gently. We lay there for a moment as our awareness becomes more vivid. We take a few conscious breaths laying on our side. We become aware of our two eyes slow¬ing adjusting to the light. We try not to rush out of bed and alarmed by the clock. Gentleness, calm and relaxation is possible. Waking up in this way can slowly influence our whole day. Waking up mindfully can be cultivated and trained, just like learning to play the violin or hit a tennis ball.

Waking up is rebelling against the accepted norm. We need courage and clarity of mind to look at ourselves and our situation deeply – what is true happi¬ness, true goodness, and true beauty – and to question its premise. We have been taught that happiness is in the future, therefore, we sacrifice the present moment in order to pursue it. Wait until retirement to really begin to enjoy life. Waking up is living the present moment, loving oneself, and understanding our deepest aspiration.