Infinite Riches in the Present Moment, on the Basketball Court and Elsewhere

The road sometimes seems endless, but deep looking at the magnificent sky can keep you in the moment

I haven’t had as much time to blog lately, because of work commitments.  A large part of my job is to go to different cities and interview people at 45-minute sessions.  These past few weeks I’ve had over 100 of these kinds of interviews to do.  Of course, I am so thankful for the work, which I love, but as you can imagine the interviews tend to get repetitive.

I used to get to about the 6th interview in the day and start counting ahead–“oh, good, only 4 more.”  But I have a different outlook now, because I’ve found a trick that works GREAT for pushing through when things start to get mundane.  When I’m on my 7th or 8th interview and I could be thinking about the glass of wine that I’ll be having in 3 hours, I focus completely on the person I’m speaking with.  I look deeply into their eyes and I hang on their every word.  In short, I put myself in the moment.    Doing so, I open myself up to chronic peak experiences.  And in truth, time ceases to exist.  There is no, “when will this day be over” or “can’t wait for that Cabernet!”  Those thoughts become irrelevant.

Wisdom along these lines recently passed through my hands by two very different people.  One was Norvene Vest, in her book, Desiring Life:  Benedict on Wisdom and the Good Life.   She refers to a quote by the contemplative writer de Caussade:  “the present moment holds infinite riches.”  I don’t know why, but that short phrase really stuck to me last week, and I found myself using it as a mantra of sorts.

The second person is the basketball player Michael Jordan.  I found this quote by him at the website Faith in the Workplace:

I’m trying to get in the proper frame of mind for another night in our 82-game regular season schedule. The key to being Mike during a game is to live in the exact moment of time. This means that I forget about whatever just happened prior to that moment, regardless of how I felt about it, regardless of whether what I did was perceived as good or bad. When I’m able to prepare myself, when I get in this “zone,” I have some of my most spectacular performances. Not only do I not remember anything that happened, I also don’t waste any energy thinking about what might happen in the future. When I play this way, at times I surprise myself with what I’m able to accomplish by staying focused in the moment.

So I look forward to my upcoming week of interviews, inspired by the words of Vest, deCaussade, and Jordan, ready to take the challenge of channeling the power of the present moment to enrich me and my work.

Now that it is 2010, I switched my calendar from my 2009 Thich Nhat Hanh calendar to the 2010 calendar that my son gave me for Christmas.  But before I threw out the old calendar, I pulled out one page–the page with the following:

Waking up this morning I smile.

Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.

I vow to live fully in each moment

and to look at all beings with the eyes of compassion.

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