Often in the normal daily routine of life, I get caught up in the “human doing” part of myself and forget about the “human being.”
In human doing mode, I’m easily frustrated, impatient, and often worried or fearful. I feel a lot of pressure or stress, usually based on my discomfort with the reality that I am essentially powerless to control anything or anyone.
But occasionally, I get a hit of something bigger. My heart opens up and I get a glimpse of what it’s all about. I soften and relax. I come back to a basic appreciation of life and all of its blessings. I return home to my “human beingness.”
Recently, I experienced one of those moments. I was driving my car to the airport to catch a plane to Indianapolis to teach a workshop. The night before, I was under a lot of stress. I found myself lost in the details of my own creation, which led me to a growing place of unrest. I was at the point of overwhelm. A headache woke me in the middle of the night, and the next morning I was exhausted.
In the car on the way to the airport, I gently began a few rounds of my practice, which includes mantra, pranayama and meditation (eyes open for driving). As I practiced, I noticed how beautiful the day was. Everything was so vibrantly alive. It was early morning on a midsummer’s day. The humidity was low and the crystal clear blue sky sparkled at me. I miraculously snapped out of feeling overwhelmed and felt surrounded by the beauty of the day. Each moment was filled with potency.
I realized how important it is to live with an appreciation of the moment. When I’m stressed, I take myself out of the moment. I see myself separate from my surroundings, separate from nature, separate from others. In fact, when I’m stressed, I don’t even see nature. My practice in the car that morning served to remind me that there is a potency to the moment. This potency is constantly being dispersed. It has many names: light, spirit, grace, the Absolute. It’s real.
That morning I noticed everything. My senses came alive—there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the tree line was in bold contrast to the bright blue sky in a mixture of color that was riveting. I noticed the purple summer wildflowers and the emerald green of the trees that surrounded them. The brightness of the day and the brilliant vibrancy of the nature surrounding me melted away all of the feelings of stress and overwhelm that had been smothering my spirit.
My practice that day left me feeling rejuvenated and exquisitely alive. It shifted my focus, and in doing so, I saw that which I had been blind to before. I truly believe and have felt, that a consistent practice, one that I can do each day, helps me clear the clouds that settle in my mind leaving me fully able to live in the potency of the moment.
There are many different names given to this practice of experiencing the moment. One of them is Rasa, or Rasa Dhvani. Rasa literally means, taste or flavor, to be able to taste life, to be able to experience the flavors and feelings of life.
Dhvani means essence. Rasa Dhvani occurs when you are present, the Rasa (the flavor of the moment) is present, and you are in harmony with it. You are present with the potency of the moment. When you become truly settled in your consciousness, you can look out at the world from your heart rather than just your eyes. From this place of Rasa Dhvani, you can fully experience what it is to be present, in the moment, and in the world.
My practice that day allowed me to look at the world with an unobstructed clear vision. I was left feeling so deeply in awe of the majesty that surrounded me; I could not feel anything other than love and appreciation. There was simply no room in my heart or my body for fear or stress.
The potency of the moment is enough to knock us back into the place of the heart, if we can just take the time to notice it.
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: Kathleen Zarubin/Flickr