This morning when I was leaving the synagogue after Torah study, I passed a bunch of tween boys arriving for a friends Bar Mitzvah. They were dressed in their jackets and/or ties, and they were excited. It was so cool to see this ethnically diverse group of kids just pumped up for their friend. “This is the big day,” one exclaimed. It made me smile, deeply smile. In fact, my smile was so deep it got me to wondering – why don’t I do this more often?
I’ve been reading the Power of Now by Tolle (and listening on CD in my car). He has introduced me to this concept of The Watcher – that part of ourself that sits behind the thinking and emotions. Tolle argues that most of the time, we travel through life the prisoner of our thoughts, which tend to focus on the pains/triumphs of the past, or on the promise/fears of the future. As a result, we miss the NOW. He argues that if we can separate ourselves from the thinking mind, and truly experience the NOW, we will have a richer and more meaningful experience. I think this is what happened to me this morning. I popped into the NOW, and experienced the richness and joy of that moment.
The kind of deep smile I experienced is sadly rare for me. Today I felt it very deeply, a happiness and wonder down to the core of my being. I have lots of little smiles, and there is a lot of good in my life. I think I, like many of us, become inured to the good, and it becomes ordinary. Being inured to the good is another way of saying that I become unconscious. I think there really is something to this NOW business. I’ll need to remember to be open to it.
It probably isn’t a coincidence that my glimpse of the NOW came after a few hours of meditation and Torah study in community. A time of inner quiet and contemplation, yet very connecting to others.
When was the last time you smiled deeply? Please share your below or by email. I answer promptly.