Take a Break From Stress: Focus in the Present Moment

Meeting #27: June 30, 2020

Meeting Theme: It’s easy during difficult times to come to the false belief that life is no longer worth living, or at least that life is less worthy of our attention and embrace.  But each moment, even the dreadful moments, can remind us that peace, love and friendship are the most essential parts of our existence, if we are awake enough to notice.  Each moment is packed with the potential to convey tremendous meaningfulness, if only we are present enough to do the unpacking.

Today’s Quotes:

From an article in the online magazine Salon titled “In these darkest of times ‘Star Trek: Picard’ is a humane light from a distant, possible future:”

Before he leaves Data, though, he agrees to a heartbreaking request to terminate the beloved android’s consciousness.

Throughout the show’s time on the android planet, the script returns to tight shots of butterflies fluttering everywhere, part of the place’s paradisal landscape. Altan Soong reveals that these too are synthetic. And in the end, Data alludes to this as an example of why he would like to cease his existence permanently.

“A butterfly that lives forever is really not a butterfly at all,” Data observes, adding. “I want to live, however briefly, knowing that my life is finite. Mortality gives meaning to human life, Captain. Peace, love, friendship, these are precious because we know they cannot endure.”

Link: https://www.salon.com/2020/03/26/star-trek-picard-finale-review/

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in

his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment

brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the

minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost,

because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot

spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and

love.” (Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, page 14)

Gently Guided Meditation: Breath/Body/Mind awareness.

Video of Meeting:


Meeting #28: July 2, 2020

Meeting Theme:  Two reminders to live in the present moment.  Two reminders that the only moment that actually exists is this moment.  It may sound like some “new age” psychobabble, but even the scientists say the same.  Live now, not there and not then.  That’s where contentment is to be experienced.

Today’s Quotes:

Let any man examine his thoughts, and he will find them ever occupied with the past or the future. We scarcely think at all of the present; or if we do, it is only to borrow the light which it gives for regulating the future. The present is never our object; the past and the present we use as means; the future only is our end. Thus, we never live, we only hope to live.

Blaise Pascal

The moon and sun are eternal travelers. Even the years wander on. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. From the earliest times there have always been some who perished along the road. Still I have always been drawn by windblown clouds into dreams of a lifetime of wandering. Coming home from a year’s walking tour of the coast last autumn, I swept the cobwebs from my hut on the banks of the Sumida just in time for New Year, but by the time spring mists began to rise from the fields, I longed to cross the Shirakawa Barrier into the Northern Interior. Drawn by the wanderer-spirit Dosojin, I couldn’t concentrate on things. Mending my cotton pants, sewing a new strap on my bamboo hat, I daydreamed. Rubbing moxa into my legs to strengthen them, I

dreamed a bright moon rising over Matsushima. So I placed my house in another’s hands and moved to my patron Mr. Sampu’s summer house in preparation for my journey. And I left a verse by my door:

Even this grass hut

May be transformed

Into a doll’s house.

Matsuo Basho; 17th Century Japanese poet; from “Narrow Road to the Interior”

Gently Guided Meditation: Breath/Body/Mind awareness.

Video of Meeting: