Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Fall Foliage: Invitation to Awakening

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

2013-10-05-15.56.46Vermont is famous for its fall foliage. Given that the mountains are covered with trees, it can be rather spectacular. I’ve had a particular interest in the changing colors this season because of my new mode of transportation.

I can see so much more when I am riding on the motorcycle. The world feels closer and there is nothing to obstruct the view. I bought a road atlas and I’ve been highlighting every road traveled this summer.

Yesterday, I headed north towards the Canadian border to catch the peak colors and to ride some new roads. It’s hard to say what my favorite road is. It is great to travel a road for the first time on the bike and even greater to travel a road for the first time on the bike that I’ve never traversed by car.

Such was the case with Route 120. I slipped through the quiet town of Franklin and headed south. The road sits on a plateau overlooking the Green Mountains from the top of the state. I could see the range from Mt. Mansfield all the way to Jay Peak. Lake Carmi was also in view.

The kaleidoscope of changing colors makes it easy to appreciate the beauty of being alive. For mindfulness, it is low hanging fruit. It’s easy to engage our attention while being enveloped in the colors of autumn.

Can we maintain the same sense of wonder in a month when the trees are bare and stick season begins? The world will soon be cold and grey here. That is when the real challenge of awakening will be here.

In every moment we are alive, we can consider the unlikeliness of this event. We are living beings on a living planet in the vast Universe. There is no end to the fascination. Our bodies, the nature around us, art, music, and science. Unfortunately, it seems too much that we take our status for granted. We remain engrossed in our stories, projects, and challenges and forget the miracle of life.

Beyond the miraculous is the privilege of being here now. Those fortunate of us in the West have abundant food, luxurious shelter, and freedom from war. Our gratitude can compound itself. The fact that we are here at all and the fact that we are here in such style should be enough to keep us grateful for a lifetime. But alas, we forget. We go back to sleep and complain that we don’t have enough money, the right relationships, and are too stressed by work and life.

The opportunity to awaken presides in any moment and in every moment. The motorcycle reminds me of the fragility of life. It invites life as meditation. Each moment and opportunity and a necessity to awaken.

 



  • http://louellabryant.com Ellie

    Love the metaphor “low hanging fruit”! I’m envious of your open-air travels. How about coming south sometime. The Presidentials, especially Mt. Abe, are glorious. Try Ripton, too, and Bread Loaf. While on my road bike (no motor) a dozen BMW trail bikes whizzed by me on the Natural Turnpike. Checkitout: http://www.motorcycle-vermont.com/roads/dual-sport-ride-to-the-natural-turnpike/

  • http://themindfulnow.org Sophie

    A wonderfully worded post. Thank you

Previous Posts

Buddhist Icon--Thich Nhat Hanh Recovering in Hospital
Beloved Buddhist monk and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh (TNH) has experienced a severe cerebral hemorrhage and remains in critical condition. He recently had his 88th Birthday. I surmise that he is, along with the Dalai, Lama, one of the two most readily recognized Buddhist figures in the world today. Af

posted 6:27:39am Nov. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Mindfulness with a Capital "M"
A recent Telegraph column asked if mindfulness lives up to its hype. The author, Polly Vernon, predicts that "mindfulness" will be the OED's (Oxford English Dictionary) word of the year. That would not surprise me. She goes on to give a favorable if at first skeptical review of the practice. Having

posted 12:19:27pm Nov. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Time to Wake Up: Reading Your Way to Awakening
We have been asleep, collectively and individually and there is a growing call to wake up. The Buddha was the first to suggest this change in consciousness 2500 years ago (and as you know the term buddha means one who has awakened). And now there are three books that have come to my attention with w

posted 11:05:45am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Citizen of the Cosmos
I recently heard Ann Druyan interviewed on Radio Lab. She spoke of falling in love with Carl Sagan when they were working together on the Voyager mission in the late 70s, where she was in charge of developing the content that would be sent out into space for alien cultures to discover. It was a touc

posted 9:59:05am Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »

The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Discovery
Polly Young-Eisendrath has a new book out, her fourteenth. This is a book like no other that I've ever read. It is a memoir and it recounts events that I lived through as dharma friends of Polly and the love of her life, Ed Epstein. The Present Heart is a statement on the nature of love. It defin

posted 8:41:37am Oct. 09, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.