I have poured coffee in my oatmeal and was not the worse for it. In fact, that singular moment has come to define mindfulness for me.
On that long-ago morning, I had two options: pour the almond milk in my oatmeal or pour the coffee in my cup. That was my last thought on the matter. Obviously, I chose somewhere in-between, pouring coffee in my oatmeal.
I ate the coffee oatmeal— adding almond milk to sweeten the bitter—it did not taste awful. The lesson amused me but coffee in my oatmeal has not happened again.
Mindfulness does not multi-task but awakens us to where we are, to what we are doing. It is a jolt of opportunity—the hour between the dog and the wolf–a bit of shape shifting as we meet the untried, the untested.
Anything but bland, mindfulness often startles. The world is not what it was. It is more than coffee being in the oatmeal—that’s just a wake-up call—it is that we begin to see what we never saw.
Being completely present gives our “real being a chance to shape our life” (Nisargadatta Maharaj). We give up life as a task in favor of opening ourselves to one experience after another. After all, that is our purpose.
No matter where we are, we can always see anew. There is beauty and wisdom in every moment–we don’t have to go searching–we only have to be completely present.
Focusing on our breath will always bring us back from wherever we have been. At some point, we all must come home to who we are.
It is not so much that we must change– life will do that for us. Ours is to accept that life is impermanent.
If you begin to understand what you are without trying to
change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.