Wouldn’t you think that after years and years of practice, that one could wake up in the morning feeling light and unfettered? Shouldn’t that be a payoff of the Buddhist practice?
Well, as much as I might hope for such a result, I have found that each morning is a new day, and as such, requires my full attention. There is no free ride, no day off from mindfulness or determination.
Our minds are firing on all cylinders even when we are sleeping. And as much as we may cultivate wholesome and loving behavior all day long, our minds will continue to stir-up disturbing emotions while we sleep.
Admittedly, I wake up with far less mental discomfort now than I did years ago. But that does not mean that I start each day feeling weightless and without concerns. And this is completely alright with me. As I am nowhere near an enlightened being, far from it! But I am gaining wisdom, droplet by droplet.
Not only do I have far less disturbing emotions because of this path, but I cling to these things far less than I used to. My desire and ego have decreased, my acceptance of reality has deepened, and I have trained myself to return to this breath.
This is why I believe it is such a good idea to start each day with some meditation time. Yesterday is gone, your dreams were only dreams, today has not yet unfolded, and we have this wonderful opportunity to be present and awake right now. Letting go of what’s gone, not reaching for what may or may not be, just filled with an abundance of gratitude and awareness of this very moment.
Thinking, I am alive – I am well – I have this body – this life – this Family – so many comforts – so many blessings.
So while I may not wake up tomorrow as a bodhisattva (enlightened being), I will make another baby-step forward. Another day, another dollar. And I count each one as a dollar that I did not have before.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.