IMG_0417That’s what I am working on this week. My Australian University course, the Science of Thinking is on pause as I savor all the changes that are happening in the lives of my loved ones (and mine – as I experience their excitement) this week! These being: school life, for the first time ever for some, or a rewarding and enjoyable work experience, for the first time ever for others – its all happening in my tribe.

Savoring the present moment is pondering on impermanence.

The Buddha instructs us to savor life as it is impermanent and suffering is inevitable. Siddhartha Gautama gave up asceticism — trying not to enjoy food or sleep — after he achieved enlightenment. Savoring is the ability to prolong and stretch enjoyment or positive emotional experiences. It is about slowing down. Studies show that when you slow down, you are more likely to stop and help someone in need. And savoring has been directly tied to happiness. Being happy in the present moment is not only okay, but also a good thing. There is no need to end a blissful moment because it will end naturally. Is it fair to savor a perfect moment, while others suffer? Savoring is ok, but fairness remains ambiguous. There’s plenty we can savor, big and small – from taking a trip to free savorings such as smelling the jasmine flowers in the neighbor’s yard.

Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Savoring is usually applied to eating. If I pause for each bite and not reach for the next one immediately – I savor it. Notice the taste, the texture , and think about where it came from, who made it, what went into it and what it will do for my body. It’s hard to overeat when I savor and slow down. The closer you attend, the more you’ll get out of savoring. You are not worried about what you have to do, you are fully enjoying the present. This is savoring but it takes practice. Food is just the start. You can savor anything. Even if it doesn’t seem to be special. Savoring can teach you to be mindful, to stop procrastinating and exercise, to eat less and more healthfully, to live in the present. This is a practice you can do several times a day — find a few rituals for savoring, drinking your morning tea, taking a bath, reading to your child, or snuggling with a loved one. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

‘As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.’ ~Buddha

Pondering on impermanence helps me savor the present moment.

The Five Remembrances

– I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

– I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.

– I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

– All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

– My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.