Meditation Column: Embrace everything going on around you

“Embrace” has several meanings; the first, of course, is to hold, cuddle, clutch or hug someone or something lovingly or affectionately in your arms. You can also embrace something in your heart or mind, as with taking on an idea or an affection with your thoughts and emotions. As in, “I embrace this moment fully,” to say I accept and love all the content the moment contains. We embrace many things, cultures, habits, ideals, theologies, situations, change, each other… The word holds what we think of as positive connotations. A deeper hidden meaning that includes thoughts and an awareness of feelings of love and acceptance. In most cases, it implies a state of present-moment activity, meaning when we embrace something it is more than likely happening in the now. We can say, “We embraced that in the past,” or, “I can’t wait to embrace them in the future;” yet, more often than not, we embrace things in the moment. It is these such moments that become the object of observation for the student of meditation.

The student sat with the teacher focusing on what they considered a roadblock on their journey to conscious awareness. The student said, “Teacher, I find myself in the midst of many a conflict as I observe and digest the goings on around me. When it rains, I watch for the sun. I constantly desire things I don’t have while I am overwhelmed with abundance. I look for behaviors in people, society or the world, which these things do not possess. And in my searching, my looking, my desire, I miss the splendor, wonder and joy the moments hold.” The teacher looked lovingly upon the student with compassion and understanding of their plight, and replied, “Yes, desire, want and longing have their place. Most often, a place in need of observation and understanding. These thoughts and their accompanying emotions are often a trap of the conditioned mind. I’m here, yet preoccupied by a desire to be there, like standing in the midst of a beautiful forest, yet wanting and longing to be at the beach. As a student and a teacher, we learn to embrace the moment. Acknowledging the thought stream as it whirls by with its distractive thinking while we bring our attention to that and even who that is before us in the present moment. Focus attention on the moment; lovingly embrace what it contains. Even the things we may label as negative are much better handled when we accept them for what they are. Embracing the moment when our lives truly unfold is an important step on our road to conscious aware presence.”

A meditation, try it out here and there when and if it comes to mind, or do not. Start off with a present moment meditation (acknowledge each thing and happening as you become aware of it). For instance, I heard an animal making a noise, I just thought of a friend, I feel my feet, I heard a sound, saw something move, etc. Then, or simultaneously, bring your thoughts to embracing the moment and all it contains. Don’t merely observe, but purposely embrace everything going on around you. Be aware if desire steps in, observe that, then return your focus to lovingly embracing all the moment has to offer.

It’s a new day! Your day. ••