Thursday, April 14, 2005

Instant Practice

It’s an oxymoron, right? No, actually, it’s a really cool practice that takes intention, but no time out of your day. And it’s more difficult (at least for me) and more interesting than you might imagine.

So, what’s the practice?

Simply this – be present as you walk into or out of your front door.

I’ve been practicing for about 10 days now, and still only succeed in remembering to do it about half the time. Others have posted notes on their doors as reminders, but that seemed like cheating to me. If the point is to be present, then the point is for it to come from inside me. It’s funny, I find that I can be thinking about being present just a few seconds before I open the door, and still forget! Now, I find that the key to the door is becoming an anchor to help me remember. I’m also making myself go through the door again when I forget.

When I do remember, it’s miraculous! My state changes – I become centered and grounded, and much more aware of the energy inside versus outside. Going inside feels like my energy welcoming me. Going outside feels like freedom and opening.

There’s an old Jewish custom of placing a mezuzah, which is basically a small cylinder, containing a prayer, on the door frame of your front door. You’re supposed to kiss it (or at least kiss your fingers and then touch your fingers to it) every time you enter or leave your house. I don’t know much about the official meaning of the mezuzah, but I’ll bet that at some level, its purpose is to bring you present each time you cross the threshold.

Are you willing to try the practice? If you do, let me know, maybe by posting here, what happens for you. Have fun!

1 comment:

Ethan said...

Nice suggestion, Hollis. Reminds me of the expression, "no matter where you go, there you are." Another way to stay present is to allow oneself to remember to stay present whenever one happens to remember it. I think of it as "presence is now."

So then, is a mezuzah cheating? I'd rather look at it the other way round: leaving a note on your door is the next best thing to having a mezuzah. The basis of all religious iconography is perhaps a variation of that same noteworthy reminder, to stay present, and aware of the divinity within you and permeating life-- even when you need to leave little clues every now and then. --Ethan