Early this morning I was sitting in the kitchen. It was nothing special, simply drinking a cup of coffee and considering the change of seasons. At the same time I was aware of the action of drinking, swallowing, and then repeating. I had some sense of being present, of a certain quality of mindfulness, at least within my capacity. Then the phone rang. I got up to answer it and immediately everything changed. I lost my sense of self, my awareness of my body and its state, as I responded to the call. As soon as the phone rang, any connection that was there disappeared. 

It is so often the case that each time there is a reaction to an event outside of myself any mindfullness vanishes. I am alive and present, then the phone rings, taking my complete attention, and I die, completely losing any consciousness of myself. I am taken, and that state of presence, palpable a moment before, cannot pass through the state of waking sleep to the next moment of presence. It is as though reincarnation is not some theory, but rather is the primary reality of my life. Again and again I am caught and taken, and I disappear. Then some chance reminder sparks a rebirth, causing me to awaken to the fact that I am alive in a body. Then, again, gone.  

To break this cycle of life and death, to live consciously without interruption in this body I have been given, is the great conundrum of my life. Why I am drawn to death, when I know beyond any doubt that life is infinitely more gratifying, is a mystery. Those far more knowing than I explain it as a play of forces. I am a prize on a field of battle between opposing factions. I cannot weigh in on this. All I do know is that right now, as I write these words, I am again somewhat self-aware. And that very soon I will again be asleep. It is such a waste of a life.

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  1. Really, a waste of a life? This “take” seems a bit pointless if the “search” is about waking up – don’t the minutes of being awake count? If not, why not surrender to the hedonistic temptations and go to sleep to all the beauty and potential and purpose of life? I think the moments of being awake count because nothing exists by itself, it only exists with its opposite – pleasure/pain, awake/asleep.

  2. What you say makes good sense, Karen. And perhaps another way of phrasing what I wrote might have helped. That said, a remorse that arises in oneself from seeing the waste of any part of the gift of this life is a cause, not for blaming oneself, but for facing the truth of how I am. I am otherwise too willing to believe that the moments of presence I do experience are sufficient. That is the truth for me, though, maybe different for another. 🙂