May 03 2010
The first Compassion Class of the term began with the usual announcements about upcoming events sponsored by our school. The future. We reviewed last term’s class content. The past. Then we focused on the heart of the class—the quality of the energy in our lives in this present moment. This brings us to right now. We introduced ourselves and named that which touches our hearts: people (young children; elderly; family members); animals (our dogs and cats; goats and horses); situations (children in poverty; hunger in our city; bus stops with no benches). After twenty minutes, we paused and I asked: “No need to raise hands or anything but notice—in the last twenty minutes—how much of the time have you been totally present? Here? Open? Engaged by listening? Connected?” I confessed that I had flashed forward to the future (left-over quiche would be good for lunch) and spent a few minutes in the past (goats reminded me of my days at Carl’s farm in Oregon). How often do we checkout of right now? We convince ourselves that we need to be planning for the next segment of our day (or life) or regretting our previous morning or decade. Staying open, connected fully to the life before us generates brilliance within us and between us. Twenty minutes at a time– can we trust our heart’s intelligence for leadership and life? That is the point of this class, the focus of Hairpin Turn and perhaps the meaning for our lives. How do you stay in the present moment?