Sitting here, I notice that my body rests in the chair. That my belly rises and falls with the breath. I feel a tightness in the jaw. The shoulders. My wallet feels a bit large, sitting on it tilts my pelvis. There is a desire to cry in my chest and just behind my eyes. There is a couple sitting across from me (not exactly, but easier to say this than to explain the seating arrangement I find myself in). She is reading on a tablet. His tablet rests on his chest as he eats his snack. Kitty-corner is a man with his laptop open on his lap, looking at his phone. He reminds me of me. The students just arrived, which means it’s louder in here now than it was a few minutes ago. They keep coming. This will last for another 20 minutes. And then they’ll be gone. Same as an hour ago. I can’t find a place to put my journal that’s comfortable. I should really move my wallet

That’s better.

The livingness of this place is undeniable. Of this experience. Of life. Life pulses around all the corners. It brings us to each moment. I’m noticing that the urge to cry isn’t attached to anything. It’s just there. Same with the man who is eating his snack. He just is. The students are. The man’s phone is. My wallet, which I can no longer really feel, is.

It’s hard to explain how there can be so much love for life, for the experience of it all, while also fear of what’s going to come next. What might come next. What might not. I don’t know that any of us will ever be able to fully grasp it. There are those who are supposedly enlightened who may be able to speak to these things, but I’m less inclined to believe that these days. I think it’s a mystery. And it’s best that it’s a mystery.

What, exactly, am I trying to get at? I think it’s this: life is remarkable. We all know that, at the very least, deep down. Doing what we can to experience it that way is a spiritual practice. A practice that’s available to all of us, in every moment. A practice of life.

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Think about it What is the contemplative life? What does it mean to reflect? These two questions are moving through me right now. Is this an intellectual exercise?