The homework that I gave my Warriors this week is to be mindful of positive, happy, pleasant moments. The idea is to learn to really be present with these moments, to allow them to penetrate our awareness fully. When something pleasant happens, what do you feel? What are the emotions and sensations that are arising? What triggers these moments?
I have noticed that these moments always catch me by surprise. I can’t say that special conditions are needed but there is definitely a correlation between the amount of discipline I am having in my meditation practice and the frequency of these experiences. To be more precise: if I sit once or twice a day every day then I definitely will start feeling more synchronized very fast. I can also say that since I have meditation in my life I am having these experiences daily, even on very crappy and difficult days. There is an undercurrent of joy, gratitude and compassion that never really goes away, even though I don’t feel it all the time. I don’t think that I have better access to it but it has better access to me.
It reminds me of being a young boy and having to cycle home in heavy rain. I can remember two moments, one when I was primary school, the other when I was in high school. In both cases I started with trying to ‘fight’ the rain. I was cycling as fast as I could. My goal was to prevent myself from getting wet, which was not working at all. But I thought that if I raced the rain I might be able to keep a couple of spots dry. So I raced and I raced. And then I realized it was useless.
I didn’t feel defeat. I felt relief. I surrendered to the situation and was liberated from my burden instantaneously. My perspective on the situation changed. Instead of trying to prevent myself from getting wet I decided to get more wet. I chose the biggest, deepest puddles and let my feet drag through the water. I faced the sky and let the rain shower my face. I changed my pace. I wasn’t racing anymore, I had all the time in the world. I remember feeling free. Free because I had made a choice to stop suffering by myself, because I had transcended the conventional paradigm that rain sucks, because I felt like a rebel and because I felt I had discovered something special that was so close.
When I am surprized by a pleasant moment, the feelings I have are similar. Every time it feels like a little discovery of something precious. Today was not a particularly easy day. Why? No idea. Things went slow and I didn’t feel productive. Then, on my way to the gym, when I was contemplating all the problems and adversities that I have ahead of me and felt a nice dose of self-pity I realized that I can accept what I can’t change and can always do my best to make the most of it. It almost feels as if somebody switches on the light. It is hard to explain but nice to feel. What goes on in my Thinking Mind just dissolves and I am reminded that I am not my thoughts. I am free.
This returning sense of freedom is probably the biggest gift I have received from my meditation practice.
By the way, I think that the man in the picture is still resisting the rain but the dog seems quite happy. The feeling I described is the transition from resisting adult to happy puppy.
This is episode 16 in a series of 100 blog posts that will be published daily during the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning. All posts are written by Atalwin Pilon, founder of Basic Goodness and creator of the 100 Day Warrior. For requests for motivational speaking, in-company workshops, online coaching and mindfulness training click here. If you would like to join our international community of brave and inspiring human beings or just follow this blog and receive updates, please click here of sign up on the right side of the page. Atalwin specializes in coaching smart and creative people, both groups and individuals. If you are interested in a free coaching session click here.