A recent walk took us past dozens of picnic tables leaning against each other — upright on their sides — to wait out winter.
When I lean physically, I have the sense of being off balance. Mentally it’s much the same:
- When I lean back mentally (dwell on the past), I’m not fully present.
- When I lean forward mentally (dwell on the future), I’m not fully present.
- When I lean into center — now — I’m in the present moment.
In Chinese calligraphy, the word mindfulness is expressed by two characters: The top character (a shelter) represents the word now; below that is the character for heart. The literal translation means bringing the heart into the present.
Does your heart reside in the shelter of now?
Credit: The Chinese symbol for mindfulness used in this post was created by Japanese-born calligrapher and writer Kazuaki Tanahashi.