Your Moments of Zen
I ripped this title from The Daily Show. At the end of every show, Jon Stewart says, "now here it is, your moment of zen." Lasting only a few seconds, a momentary clip is broadcast and its message stands alone because it is so powerful that it doesn't require any commentary or comedy. So I've started thinking about why they might have chosen that name, and also the amount of time which actually passes in a "moment." What is zen?
Am I able to have any moments of zen if I'm not in a traditional yogic setting with all of the accessories, silence, incense sticks, and mood lighting? This is what yogis refer to as "yoga off the mat." When we say this we don't mean performing a sun salutation directly on concrete - we mean reaching a graceful state in the world - in your daily life - at the gas station, in the supermarket, or the most difficult of all...with your wild children who act like drunken sailors for most of the afternoon if they don't take a nap. For me, I can only experience "zen" with my children in moments. Often, these moments don't even last a whole minute. But now that I've experienced a few of these moments, I'm trying to find one every day. Today, it happened in the pool. I've been caring for both of them all day this week so my husband can work (he takes turns, too, don't worry). We are fortunate enough to belong to our local JCC, which has an incredible pool. We all got in. Usually, at this "moment" I become a magnet - they both cling to me as they "get used to" the water. They both ask questions at the same time and they both need my attention. They use me as a pool wall to push off with their feet, they show me the kicking they are so proud of and splash water into my eyes and nose. Don't get me wrong, it's fun, but it sure as heck ain't zen. But today as I held them in the water, they were both silent for just one moment, and in that moment a thought came to me. It said "I am so grateful for these healthy children whose bodies I am holding and who I brought into this world." And then the whole moment disappeared. I'm not saying I stopped being grateful. I'm saying that the "zen" part went away because most of life for modern families isn't zen - it is energetic, dirty, emotional, a roller-coaster ride.
I know a lot of people are reading because you've told me when I see you in person or in an email. Please keep reading, and if you feel moved, I would really love to hear your comments on the posts so please consider writing comments.
And here it is...your moment of zen...
Yaara's Improvised Legs up the Wall pose...up a comfy chair (Viparitta Korani)