Friday, January 27, 2017

Live Every Day Slowly

Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life”.

-Marcus Aurelius


Restore your attention or bring it to a new level by dramatically slowing down whatever you are doing”.

-Sharon Salzberg


I don’t think Marcus Aurelius is telling us that we need to live every day of our lives intensely or even urgently.  I think he is telling us we should live our lives intentionally.  In other words, whatever you are doing, do it on purpose and with intention.  Don’t bounce around like a man in a life boat in the middle of the ocean during a storm.  I sometimes wonder what I would do if I found out I had a terminal illness and death was imminent.  First of all, all our days are numbered.  We just don’t know what the number is.  As Bob Dylan once sang, “Those not busy being born are busy dying”.  Every day in the newspaper I see notices of people’s deaths who are much younger than me.  It makes me feel grateful that I have made it this long.  Whether you end up with a short life or a long one, live each day on purpose and with intention.  Replace the idea of “someday” with now.  In a world that seems to be moving faster all the time, how do we maintain our sense of presence and equilibrium?  One of my friends in the monastery once said that “being in the moment is how I slow down my life”.  It may seem amusing to some of you that a monk feels the need to slow down their life when most people would go stir crazy if they had to spend a week in a monastery.  I know real monks and even some of them are stressed out.  Monasteries don’t run themselves.  Some monks feel over burdened with responsibilities like most of us.  The bottom line is that all of us need to slow down, live intentionally, and do what we do with meaning and purpose as much as possible.  For what it is worth, if I thought today was my last day I would be logging off this computer immediately and taking the rest of the day off.  I would bust my granddaughter out of school and go get some ice cream.        


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