Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

three-step practice ~

First, come into the present. Flash on what’s happening with you right now. Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions.

Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest if you find that helpful. This is a way of accepting yourself just as you are in that moment, a way of saying, “This is my experience right now, and it’s okay.”

Then go into the next moment without any agenda.

~ Pema Chodron

When I stop & think about it, I spend a lot of time in two places… Body here, in the now, and mind almost anywhere else. In the past (thinking about childhood), in a book’s alternate universe, in worry about the future… Not here now, for sure.alternate universes


So today I’m trying this 3-step practice by the inimitable Pema Chodron. Right now, I am sitting at my desk, listening to my two dogs howl as they invite me to share my breakfast with them. I’m listening, too, to the clatter of a keyboard — a sound so familiar I could conjure it like magic. I’m trying to sit tall in my desk chair. And just paying attention. It’s hard.

My grandmother used to share that familiar grandmother advice: Anything worth doing is worth doing well. And its corollary: If it was easy, everyone would do it. Yeah, yeah, Grandmother. :) But of course she was right. Things that are worthwhile are seldom easy at first. And couple that w/ my ADD (diagnosed only in adulthood, by process of elimination!)? I’m the world’s worst blue fish.


blue-fishNote: if friends, family, AND colleagues all have titles for your … ‘non-linear’ way of doing business? It’s a clue: you distract. EASILY. Which make it hard to practice, quite often. At least traditional forms of practice, like sitting still… :)

Perhaps that’s why poetry, and walking meditation, and drawing birds work for me. I’m able to put myself into the action, expanding into what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls ‘flow.’ That state of being fully immersed in the moment. The now of doing…

So try what Pema Chodron offers us today. Three fairly simple steps. And notice that I said ‘simple.’ I never told you it would be easy…

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