One of my many defects is I’m extremely absent minded.
Although I’ve diligently meditated daily for four years, my mind often wanders off into neverland during conversations. It’s even worse while performing menial tasks, such as washing the dishes.
Intellectually, I know that my attention should be on the activity at hand. In its most simplified form, this is the essence of life, for one’s attention to be on whatever it is they’re doing. To be present. To live in the now.
I strive for this, but fail miserably, and often.
Occasionally I’m there, and I’m in the moment. When washing those dishes, I feel the heat of the water and the light tingling of the brush on my fingertips while the plates and utensils move through my hands.
It’s gone a few seconds later, and I’m back to watching the movie of my life play out in front of me instead of living inside of it.
I wonder, we if I could bring that life like quality to everything? Today, as I have done Yesterday, for at least the hundredth time, I recommitted to making this a priority. My action item is to do only one thing at a time.
While I’ll most certainly fall short of this again, I hope to get better in time. That through the seemingly futile hours I spend meditating, my mind will finally dissolve into what it is doing and stay there for longer than a few breaths.
Perhaps if I continue my practice for another few decades, I’ll be able to experience just one day in which I’m fully alive in each moment.
I’ve long since given up on trying to fill my day with intrinsically exciting activities. Chasing that hedonism is futile and is largely missing the point.
Instead, I seek to make each activity compelling by being fully immersed in it. I have found it’s not about what I’m doing that is responsible for my enjoyment, but rather the quality to which I’m doing it.
It seems therefore that being fully present and aware, submerged in the activity at hand, is the underlying goal, whereas the merely serves as a superficial way of bringing us toward this enlightenment. In this way, everything can be a form meditation.
To me living in this state would be the ultimate achievement.