Friday, June 9, 2006

Dalai Mama

As the Kabat-Zinns remind us, "Love is expressed in how we pass the bread, or how we say good morning, and not just in the big trip to Disney World." I am constantly reinventing myself -- my forever fledgling Zen self -- as one challenge gives way to another. There is no after the winter, I tell myself. There is no after the kids fighting about the sippy cup with the dolphins on it. There is no after the flu. "Forget somewhere over the rainbow," I imagine the Kabat-Zinns saying. This here is the pot of gold. This now.
When people say, "Kids are so Zen," this is what they mean: the way they appreciate every tiny miracle of the here and now. And, ironically, it's this very quality that tends to drive parents crazy, even wannabe Zen parents like me -- the way kids stop to play in the sand on the path even as you're trying to herd them to the beach itself. But where was I rushing to now?
In these moments, when I am stressed out or stretched thin or when my very last button has been pushed, awareness can feel like yet another demand on my strained multitasker, even though I know better. Life unfolds only one moment at a time, whether or not you're paying careful attention. And, as the Kabat-Zinns remind us, "Such moments count. They add up to a childhood, and a life."
Catherine Newman- Wondertime Magazine