This is how we experience the world when we pause for long enough to engage with it.
Sliminess, too. Unease. The familiar sad pang of acknowledging impermanence. All this is part of life.
If we’re not careful, we skip past so much. We get caught in the endless stream of emails and to-do lists. We put our heads down. We scurry to ‘keep up’ with everyone else.
I am a Pureland Buddhist, and starting each day with Buddhist practise helps me to remember the really important things – faith, love. Things I can take refuge in, and use as both my anchor and my compass.
My other main arsenal in the continuing battle against mind-fog is the mindful writing practice, small stones.
A small stone is a moment of engaged attention, written down. Poetry, prose, it doesn’t matter. The most important part is scrutinising whatever presents itself, as objectively as you can. Loving whatever is before you.
Each small stone I write teaches me something new:
“lime-green periscopes of fern rise through the dead.”
This one draws my attention to impermanence and to the beauty and reliability of new life.
“white braille-flowers on bone-china mug. the generous earlobes of the grey Buddha. white hairs in the kitten’s black tail. the reflection of the table leg in the golden grate. a tight pain in my neck. the clicking of Kaspa’s mouse.”
This one reminds me to pay attention to all those small ‘insignificant’ details that pass us by.
“small red berry, so bright I cannot help myself, I bend & pick it up.”
This one reminds me to praise.
Deliciousness. The croissant I ate this morning with tart gooseberry jam. Vivid colours. The egg-shell blue of the wide open sky. Sharp smells. Late roses, cutting through the cold air with their honeyed scent. Fresh insight. The world brings me wisdom, wherever I look.
Pause. Look around you. Let your senses reach their tentative fingers outwards.
Allow the world to shock you with its deliciousness.
If you’re up for the challenge, people around the world will be writing a small stone every day during January. Find out more here.
If you’re as impatient as me, get started straight away with Kaspa’s free seven day experience.
Or post your small stone right here in the comments section. I want to read them. Three minutes. Deliciousness. Trust me.
Buddha photo by katclay (Creative Commons) with thanks.
hot on elephant
Elephant Journal’s Holiday Gift Guide 636 shares A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 580 shares Waylon’s favorite Ethical Gifts. 13 shares Learn Social Media, Writing, Editing & Journalism Ethics with elephantjournal.com. 28 shares Trevor Noah just won my Respect. 2,560 shares Year of the Fire Rooster 2017: What to Expect. 954 shares The Real Reason so many Long-term Relationships Fail Sexually. 811 shares December Forecast: Letting Go of 2016 & Leaning into 2017 with Love. 7,256 shares Why a Year of No Dating was the Best Thing I ever did for Myself. 6,827 shares These Tweets (and Retweets) actually Happened. 1,388 share