I was fortunate to be a part of the 100 year anniversary of the dedication of Rocky Mountain National Park on September 4, 2015. The morning was beautiful with the early sun lighting up the mountain range. The ceremony and rededication honored the wisdom of the past, the glory of the present and resolve for the future. It was a unique moment to mindfully tie past, present and future together and honor their connectedness.
Staying out of the past or the future is particularly challenging for me during meditation, a practice of observing and being in the present moment. As is common, my busy thinking self often wanders deeply into history, usually my own, or fantasizes and catastrophizes what might lie ahead. This pattern is especially evident when I sit in meditation and observe my own self, thoughts included. Mindfulness meditation, simple though not easy, is the practice of non-judgementally observing yourself in the present moment. While it is essential not to try to do anything during meditation, this is the practice of non-striving, one of the benefits of regular practice is that in your everyday life you come to appreciate and notice the present moment, the place where we truly live.
It can be distracting, poisoning or even immobilizing to dwell too much in the past or future, to regret or worry so much that you miss out or misjudge what’s happening now. However, it can also be useful and even enjoyable to reflect and learn from the past as well as necessary and productive to plan for the future. The trick for me, and indeed many others, is to perform these reflections mindfully and with a connection to the present.
The Rocky Mountain celebration was a sublime experience of tying these three time frames together and creating a magical moment to enjoy right now. The vision and efforts of the early conservationists preserved a priceless and timeless natural area. Visitors today can enjoy the beauty and serenity of the wilderness and connect deeply with nature. All in attendance on the anniversary committed to securing this place and experience for many generations to come. I was caught up in the moment, always a wonderful feeling, and at the same time struck by the past, present and future contained in the now.
With Gratitude for All Things,
Happy Birthday Rocky!!