How Living In The Moment Helps You with Your Sobriety

I recently read “Breakfast with Buddha” by Roland Merullo.  It is a great read if you are looking for fiction and inspiration.  It reminded again of the Buddhist concept of mindfulness and living in the present moment.  Twelve Step programs talk of just staying sober/clean today.  Often people new in recovery, talk about staying sober/clean one moment at a time.  Mindfulness expands that concept to living my life and being aware of each moment in each day by living mindfully.  For example, last week I talked about my gratitude to angels helping often as I drive.  Too often, I am on auto-pilot with my driving and need to be present.  I even have some beads hanging from the rear-view mirror in my car as a reminder to stay present and aware of my driving.   Being mindful and aware, as well as my angels, helps me.  This morning, driving mindfully, I had all green lights.  Perhaps red lights are to bring me back to the present moment and as well as a lesson in patience.  Perhaps mindfulness helps me to be more patient.  We can be mindful in every area of our lives.  In the book, Otto, the main character, is driving from New York state to North Dakota and his birth home.  His sister, talks him in to giving the Rinpoche, or monk, a ride all in the name of brotherly love.  Otto is a food editor and loves “good/gourmet” food and enjoys gourmet meals along the way.  The Rinpoche on the other hand eats simply and mindfully and enjoys his simple meal just as much.  How much of my life, other than driving, is done on auto pilot.  I am making it my goal to live mindfully one day at a time.
I have started meditating again, another benefit from reading “Breakfast with Buddha.”   Prior to this I was meditating now and then, however, meditation is a daily practice.  I was a regular “meditator” for a long time and I let it slip.  Meditation and yoga are both powerful tools to help in being more mindful.  As I am getting older, yoga has become an important part of keeping my body moving, however, sitting in meditation got lost somewhere along the way.  It feels so “right” and good to spend those few minutes meditating.  Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga are also powerful stress reducers.  If you are new to meditation, and these concepts and practices and you want to begin, it is important to realize that meditation is a “practice” and needs to be practiced regularly, as are all aspects of mindfulness.  We will be supported in our practice, as Kahlil Gibran,  author of “The Prophet, reminds us:  “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”

Sue Judd, M.S.S., L.S.A.C.

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