Saturday, October 23, 2010
Weekly Reflection (week 40): A day
I am in week four of Susannah Conway's latest ecourse offering Unravelling 2: Living in My World. Her first course blew the lid off for me in many ways, but the greatest shift was to embrace Fearlessness when it comes to my creative life. The new course is proving to be equally enlightening in more subtle, deeper ways that I cannot articulate just yet. Each week feels like the material is burrowing deeper and deeper into my understanding of myself and how I live - and create - my life. The beauty of the course is a chance and a challenge to articulate for myself my beliefs, my values, my sense of self and how that is crafted daily. In a word, the course is sharpening my sense of Mindfulness.
6 am, 7 am, 8 am, 9 am
10 am, 11 am, noon, 1 pm
This past week the focus was upon the elements of our day. To comprehend how we spend each day, we were to document with our cameras twelve hours of our day, taking a picture or two every hour. What I love about this kind of exercise is how the details of seemingly mundane tasks are highlighted; with attention the prosaic becomes poetry. I found myself noticing the steam on the shower handle, the pattern of dirty cups in the kitchen sink, the landscape of the interstate that I drive every day all deeply engaging when I take the time to notice.
2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm
So my reflection for the week has a focused awareness of the details of my day and an understanding of the ways my camera and my art (painting, drawing, writing) help me to slow down time and savor the details. Through this practice I am aware of this truth:
"There is a close connection between deep concentration and love, and with the practice of one-pointed attention we can greatly increase the precious capacity to remain loving and loyal no matter what the vicissitudes or circumstances we encounter."
Slowing down and one-pointed attention are two of the Eight Points outlined in a program for living a fuller and more spiritual life by a wonderful teacher, Eknath Easwaran. I have always admired Sri Easwaran's teachings and but have found it challenging to stick to his deceptively simple program. But now I think I have found the right tools to assist me: my camera and my journals.
How do you cultivate awareness of details that make up your day? Care to join me and show us 12 hours from your life?