I could say more about war, about warfare, about the toll it takes, about the very high cost of the very lavish profits for the very wealthy few, and maybe there will be time for all that, some other day.

This morning, I am focused on peace, on sipping this good cup of coffee, of being right here, right now – calm, contented, rested. If I allow war, the fear of war, the anxiety caused by war, to consume my consciousness then I live every moment at war, without any opportunity to feel the full scope of my emotions, or to experience the entirety of my experience, fully. Seems a waste, really (and it is), the waste that is a collateral cost of war; the waste that is the loss of this singular lovely moment right here, in exchange for contemplation of war. No, thank you, not this morning. 🙂

I sip my coffee and simply exist, right in this present moment, quietly. I breathe deeply and calmly, feeling the chill of the room. It is before dawn. I hear the commuter train some distance away, sounding the horn as it pulls in to the platform, and again as it pulls away. I yawn and stretch, letting my gaze wander the room. I smile, surrounded by my own art. I could only love this space more if it were truly my own. No breeze this morning; I don’t hear the wind chime, and I do hear the traffic on the busy street beyond the community and the park. I notice that it is not raining, at least for now.

Again and again I find my mind wanting to wander to things and moments that are not now. I gently pull it back to this space, this moment. Why borrow troubles from moments that are not now? Seriously. My own well-being definitely requires that I get at least some time in, every day, that is firmly in this ‘here, now’ space, undistracted by the future or the past or what is not yet or what is not here. I’ve been astonished more than once by how much chill I now have, and how much more perspective, when at other points in my day, I am faced with… circumstances. Trials. Challenges. Stressors. Aggravating moments. Frustrating situations. Complications. Emotions. I’ll have any one of those things, or some mixed up handful, reliably without any effort to select for them. I don’t have to jump ahead to get there sooner… and it’s rather nice to face them a bit more prepared, and a bit more resilient. So, every day, I take time to meditate, to exist very mindfully in this space, in this moment – wherever that happens to be, at whatever time I choose. My mind, of course, wanders. I pull it back. It wanders again, and again, I pull it back. It’s a gentle tug of war, without frustration or internal criticism; I am challenging the habits of my monkey mind. It takes practice. Surely I expect to begin again. 🙂

This morning I pull my monkey mind back to meditation, I begin again, and I enjoy thoughts of far away friends, feeling grateful for each step on the journey illuminated by loving words, perspective, the wisdom of experience, and shared moments. I allow my senses to fill up on the feeling of being valued, of being loved, and of loving. I smile and sip my coffee. My smile deepens when my Traveling Partner crosses my mind. My sister, my niece, my friends next door… my recollections are filled with smiles, and this too is my own doing; there are verbs involved. These days I spend far more time recalling smiles, and moments of delight, than I do rehashing conflict or preserving moments of discord in my memory. It has proven to matter a great deal whether I spend my time thinking over past pain or past joy; our implicit biases are built on what we spend our time contemplating. The choices we make about “re-runs” in our thinking are actually quite important.

Thoughts of love make lovely re-runs.

I notice the time and become more aware of the moment with some specificity. It’s time to begin again. 🙂