the vast universe
We start each day at least semi fresh.
Wake up. This is harder or easier, depending on your biorhythms. From sleep to waking, just a state of consciousness. It might blow your mind, if you are inclined to having your mind blown with awe.
While you slept, the world went on, the people who were awake continued living, the other sleepers slept. Some people died, some were born. This world is big, bigger than our consciousness can cover.
And while you slept, you contributed nothing, did nothing, produced nothing (with your awareness, I mean) and that was OK. It was more than OK, in fact, it was necessary!
If you don't get enough sleep, and you don't get enough dream sleep, you're not going to function optimally, as a human being.
We are evolved to sleep, to dream.
But that's just sleeping. Only one of our states of doing.
When we wake, there's more. So many more.
In waking, we discover our personal weather for the day. Did we wake up cheerful, tired, in pain or excited? Or just happy, content, ready for coffee?
But all that, that's just weather. ("Just weather" but oh the weather matters, doesn't it?)
Underneath, there's the states of what we do, which let's call the seasons of us. (I may be stretching this metaphor, but who cares, I can stretch a metaphor if I want to!)
Sleeping. Consuming. Creating. Cleaning.
There's lots of sub categories under each of those. And some things fall between categories, like meditation. Still, I like this metaphor. I'm staying with it.
Weather and seasons. These are things that we know in our daily lives.
And underneath that, there's mindfulness, like the foundation of the earth beneath our feet. Strong and centered. Calm. Abiding. Beautiful.
Paying attention to the planet, without getting distracted by the weather and the seasons can be difficult and requires a lot of practice! But it is always there. You only need to remind yourself to look down.
Oh, now come into this metaphor with me really deep. Weather, seasons, planet. We pretty much all get this, right? These are part of our daily lives. Difficult as mindfulness can be to practice, it's not beyond us.
So what is beyond us? Well, this is where I'm really fond of this metaphor because it's obvious: the universe. Everything.
Which is also part of our daily lives, but unseen, unconscious: pure beingness.
The incredible oneness of you (of us all). Of all your humaness, animalness, mineralness, wateryness, airiness, atoms and the space between them.
Everything that is. Oneness.
And when you connect to that oneness, however briefly, you *are* that connectedness.
I've touched this awareness while I was meditating, less than a handful of times in my life, briefly. It isn't a state that I can function in (it isn't mindfulness, which is my normal meditative state; it's beyond that, complete oneness, totality that is so vast it becomes nothing but the spaces in between), but based on that awareness, I can remember and remind myself and live in a way that serves the remembrance of that awareness.
The weather, the seasons, the earth below us. The buildings we live in. The products we make. The choices we make.
It's all connected. There's no weather, no seasons, no ground: just connections. Just space. Just a vast web of nothing and everything, all at once.
The weather here affects the weather there on earth. The products made there and consumed here affect the world everywhere.
But none of it affects the universe. Our planet spins and rotates and lives happen and don't happen and it doesn't even affect the rest of the planets in our solar system, most of the time, let alone the universe.
(Space debris we produce during our exploration does have the potential to affect other planets. I have issues with this, which is one reason space travel make me uncomfortable. I recognize the coolness of it and the potential for knowledge, but my discomfort remains. And thats just my own weather, my own biases. I don't call the shots with NASA or the private space industry. So I don't get a choice. But if I did, I'd ask for more mindfulness with our space debris.)
And while this vastness may be too big for my consciousness to live in, the awareness of it as a possibility reminds me to stay mindful of my actions and their repercussions.
I'm human. The weather distracts me. The seasons distract me. But I live on this earth and can let my self remember to come back to mindfulness.
And sometimes, when I'm lucky, I can touch the vast oneness of the universe and remember the oneness of us, the immenseness and tinyness of us all at once.