“Wait just a minute, that is MY seat,” the commuter demanded as she maneuvered around several younger people to take her seat of choice on the bus. Momentarily stunned, the small group moved themselves and their belongings aside so this 40-something year old woman could have her “reserved” seat. Although she got her bum on a cushion, there was nothing soft about her ride. The energy around her seemed to simmer as the shock wore off and fellow passengers sat rife with animosity.
Over the years I have discovered the easiest way to familiarize myself with the “awakening” concept is to look for practical applications in everyday life. If you have the chance to be with a crowd of people, your lessons are close at hand.
I live in a quiet oceanside community in British Columbia. I teach business development downtown in Vancouver and commute to the office by bus. The commute is quite pleasurable for me and I enjoy driving, but I made a decision that about 75% of the time I would ride the friendly transit system and give Mother Nature a break.
If you don’t use public transportation you may not be aware of the “positioning” that often precedes the ride. Most people don’t want to have to stand for the hour-long commute, so they maneuver ahead of time, before they ever leave their home, to have a fighting chance for a soft seat on the bus.
People can experience intense anxiety, in advance of ever arriving at a bus stop or train station, wondering if and what seat they will occupy for their journey.
Can you imagine- actually raising your blood pressure, releasing toxic chemicals in your cells, and depleting your daily dose of energy so that you can worry in advance that you may not have a seat?
Present moment awareness means you are awake in the moment you are in – right now. Thirty minutes before the bus or train arrives, you notice that you are good, and life is good. While catching a ride with someone to the station, you notice, that again, this moment is quite pleasurable. The sun is shining, or there is a gentle rain. Even the windstorm is okay, because in this moment, you are safely nestled in the shelter of the car.
It is a “practice.” You simply choose to pay attention to this moment.
Today, I arrived cheerful at the park and ride only to find an extended line of close to 35 waiting passengers. My anxious travel partner said,” You see, I told you we should have parked along the bus route and caught the bus ahead of these people. We will never get a seat!”
I am smiling of course. You see, in the years I have traveled the bus or train to and from work, I have NEVER ONCE not had a seat, unless I chose to give it away. In fact, I am writing this post from my cozy aisle seat.
How can you guarantee you will always have a seat? Quit caring one way or another. Loosen your tight grip on the future outcome, and embrace the seconds you are in, now.
If this moment finds you balancing yourself on a crowded train and holding the handrails for dear life, notice the strength of your body and your innate ability to remain solid while being tossed to and fro. Discover within yourself how the experience changes if you let go of the frustration, and the way you wish it was, and how you deserve a seat. Once you entertain a different perspective, you may be very surprised at what the moment has in store for you.
Sit down and cozy up, your moment waits.
In the Grace of the Moment,