One who does not live mindfully
does not live fully.
— Stonepeace | Get Books
Albert Camus, in his novel The Stranger, used the term “the moment of awareness.” When the protagonist of the novel, Meursault, learns he is going to be executed for the murder he has committed, anxiety, fear, and anger are born in him. In despair, he is lying on his prison bed looking at the ceiling when, for the first time, he sees the square of blue sky through the skylight. The sky is so blue — it’s the first time in his life that he has gotten deeply in touch with the blue sky. He has already lived for decades without ever really seeing the blue sky. Perhaps he has looked at the sky from time to time, but he has not seen it in a deep way. Now, three days before his death, he is able to touch the blue sky in a very deep way. The moment of awareness has manifested.
Meursault decides to live every minute he has left fully and deeply. Here is a prisoner who is practicing deep meditation. He lives his last three days in his cell within that square of blue sky. That is his freedom. On the afternoon of the last day, a Catholic priest comes to Meursault’s prison cell to give him the last rites, but Meursault refuses. He doesn’t want to waste the few hours he has left talking to the priest, and he doesn’t let him come in. He says, “The priest is living like a dead man. He is not living like me, I am truly alive.”
Maybe we too are living like dead people. We move about life in our own corpse because we are not touching life in depth. We live a kind of artificial life, with lots of plans, lots of worries, and anger. Never are we able to establish ourselves in the here and now and live our lives deeply. We have to wake up! We have to make it possible for the moment of awareness to manifest. This is the practice that will save us — this is the revolution.
You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment
Thich Nhat Hanh
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